Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday announced that the federal government will launch a comprehensive poverty alleviation programme across the country with special focus on tribal districts by the end of current month. Launching Sehat Insaf Card for tribal districts here, the prime minister said that the card was a component of the poverty alleviation programme which will eventually address the problems of the tribal people. He said the poverty alleviation programme will be the first of its kind under which all institutions working for poverty alleviation including Zakat Department, Pakistan Baitul Mal, BISP and others will be placed under a central head to make coordinated efforts for poverty alleviation in the country. The prime minister said the poverty alleviation programme will be launched in the tribal areas first and then extended to the rest of the country. He said the government will also introduce other public welfare projects including schools, hospitals and basic health units in the merged districts on priority basis to resolve issues of the tribal people. He congratulated Federal Health Minister Amir Kiyani for introducing health card in the tribal areas and said though the project was delayed as the government was struck in various other socio-economic issues, but it will bring a positive change in life of the common man. He recalled that when PTI came into power, the country was facing multiple challenges, especially huge amount of foreign loans and worst economic situation. “The country is out of crisis now and the economy is improving,” he asserted. The tribal areas were already less privileged for the last 12 years and military operations against terrorists and militants further aggravated the situation there due to which the tribal people suffered a lot, he said, and added that operations in tribal areas were carried out under certain compulsions. Tribal people did face difficulties but now the government is making all-out efforts to address their issues, he maintained. PM says Zakat Department, Pakistan Baitul Mal and BISP will be placed under a central head to make coordinated efforts for alleviation of poverty The prime minister reiterated the resolve of his government to carry out development projects in the tribal districts on priority basis to remove their sense of deprivation. He said that he held detailed discussion with KP governor and chief minister about development programmes to be launched in the merged districts. The prime minister referred to the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and said it was a welcome sign as it would definitely bring huge investment plans that would usher in a new era of prosperity in the country. Separately, the prime minister presiding over a high-level meeting of the Advisory Committee established for identifying problems in the merged districts and their solutions. He said government will provide all necessary resources to expedite process of reconstruction and early resettlement of people in the merged tribal districts. He said removing sense of deprivation of the people in the tribal districts was the top most priority of his government and that all necessary resources will be provided to spur the pace of reconstruction and quick resettlement of the people. The prime minister directed the Advisory Committee to expedite rehabilitation and reconstruction process in all the merged tribal districts and take prompt measures for resolution of all problems on priority basis. He directed the committee to increase contacts with people of the tribal districts and take them into confidence for effective governance and uniformed development. He also directed timely identification of all problems and taking of appropriate measures for their solutions so that process of reconstruction and rehabilitation could be completed at the earliest. Earlier, the prime minister met provincial governor and chief minister and discussed administrative and services structure in the tribal districts. The chief minister informed the prime minister about collective recovery plan including speedy recovery, rebuilding and reconstruction in the tribal districts. The prime minister directed swift and quick efforts for bringing all tribal districts into mainstream. Published in Daily Times, February 16th 2019.