Advises govt not to alter the CPEC route to avoid discord among federating units
NATHIAGALI / GUANGZHOU/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan said on Friday that if his party was swept into power in the centre, it would open all governor houses to the public.
“We will collect revenue from the governor houses instead of spending millions of rupees on them,” he said.
He was addressing on Friday a ceremony marking the opening of official Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) rest houses to general public. He said the government cannot collect taxes until it gains people’s trust that their money will be spent on welfare projects, such as education and health.
“The tax to GDP ratio in Pakistan is the lowest as compared to other countries of the world,” he said, adding the government is getting foreign loans instead of increasing the tax net. Imran said the government needs to develop a carrot and stick policy to collect taxes as taxes cannot be collected until the people are offered incentives in return.
He said a total of 13 rest houses had been commercialised in the first phase while 16 more would be opened for general public in the next phase. “We are reviving the old rest houses. We spent money on the 13 rest houses and have earned four million rupees just in six-week time,” he said.
Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) is being set up to manage the rest houses professionally, he said, adding that the earnings would be spent on welfare of the locals.
Imran Khan said around Rs20 million of the taxpayers’ money is being spent on maintenance of the rest houses. “The GDA would be an autonomous body and no one would be terminated from his job,” he said.
Imran said a governor house in Nathiagali is being maintained by the taxpayers’ money as there are Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel and other staff to look after it.
He claimed that all the latest surveys showed that the PTI had emerged as the country’s biggest and most popular party. Talking about the K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khatak, he said he lives in the annex of the chief minister house and his expenditure is the least as compared to other chief minister houses in the rest of the country.
“We are endeavouring to bring a new thinking in the people. We want to spend people’s money on their welfare and wellbeing,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2015.