PM wants US voting system in Pakistan for transparency

The Nation

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday reiterated his commitment to bring the latest technology to ensure transparency in elections.
“We can’t have the kind of elections which have happened in the past,” the prime minister said. “We need to use EVM technology for transparent elections and I want regular updates on it,” he announced while chairing the Federal Cabinet meeting here.
He told the federal cabinet that the only way to hold transparent elections in Pakistan was through the electronic voting system (EVM) being used in the United States.
He noted that even former president Donald Trump could not point out any flaws in the elections after losing to the incumbent US President Joe Biden.
“A transparent voting system debunked the former US president Donald Trump’s allegations of electoral malpractice; just like in the US, Pakistan will also put in place the same system to ensure fair and transparent elections in the country,” Imran Khan asserted. He said that he will regularly take updates on the matter as well as give the right of franchise to overseas Pakistanis.
Quoting an international report, the Prime Minister regretted that every year one thousand billion dollars are laundered out of the poor countries to the rich countries.
He also said Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari like ruling elite first weaken the relevant institutions to transfer abroad the money accumulated through illegal means.
He said mega projects are also executed by such corrupt elements to get big kickbacks in return. He said the people have to pay the price of this corruption in the form of inflation.
The Prime Minister lamented that the corrupt ruling elite then also resorts to different tactics to make their corruption acceptable. With this, he said, they destroy the morality of a nation.
Later in the media briefing about decisions taken by the cabinet, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Shibli Faraz said that the cabinet has accorded approval to the draft of State Bank of Pakistan Amendment Bill 2021.
He said that purpose of this amendment bill is to make the State Bank more independent for improving economic situation of the country.
He said the cabinet also approved the draft Income Tax Amendment Bill 2021.
Shibli Faraz said the cabinet appreciated the decision of Justice Retired Azmat Saeed for not receiving any privilege as Chairman Broadsheet Commission.
He said due to effective measures we have reduced the losses of State owned enterprises to half. He expressed hope to make them profitable in next few years.
Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said strengthening the national institutions to make them independent is government’s top priority.
He said reforms are being made on fast track basis to make the institutions profitable.
The Minister said the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2021 will help improve the tax system. He said under this Bill tax exemptions will be reduced to make tax system uniform and transparent.
Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said the government has restarted the formal relation with IMF and soon the international board of the fund will visit Pakistan.
He said through another amendment the State Bank is being made responsible to Parliament to make the institution accountable.
Hafeez Sheikh said concrete measures are being taken to control the inflation. He said in this regard the government has reduced its expenses at a first step and after a long period we brought the country’s primary balance in positive.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain said institutional reforms are need of the hour and we are focusing on improving the performance of the institutions under the principle of right person at right job.
He said steps are being taken to further reduce the losses of state owned enterprises.
Responding to a question, Hafeez Shaikh said the government is further promoting the policy of targeted subsidy to provide relief to the underprivileged segment of the society.
In response to another question, he said the current account is in surplus due to the reduction in expenses. He said strengthening the institutions and improving the tax system are amongst the top priorities of the government. He said the government is taking several steps to bring down the inflation as well.
In response to a query, Adviser on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain said institutional reforms will prove to be a milestone in improving the performance of the State institutions.

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