KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Monday vowed in its manifesto for the general election-2013 that prices of oil, petrol and other items would be gradually reduced for controlling inflation and improving the standard of living of the common people.
The party also promised in the election manifesto titled "Empowering the People" that relief would be given to common people by reducing indirect and other taxes. All written-off debts would be recovered.
This was said by Deputy Convener MQM Rabita Committee, Dr. Farooq Sattar at a press conference in Lal Qila Ground, Azizabad here on Monday.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said that the principle of no representation without taxation would be adhered to and agrarian income would be made taxable and its collection would be ensured.
Energy crisis would be solved and the issue of circular debt in the power sector would be resolved, he added.
He said that incentives will be given for progress in the industrial sector in order to create maximum employment opportunities.
He said dual systems of education would be abolished and Urdu-medium institutions would be brought at par with English- medium institutions.
He said budgetary allocation for education would be raised from 2.2 per cent to 5 per cent of the GDP and an outlay of 20 per cent would be reserved for education in the provincial budget.
He said free books, uniform and transportation facilities would be provided to school-going children.
He added that steps would be taken on war-footing for providing free and compulsory education to children from 5 to 16 years in order to raise the literacy rate.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said Madaris (religious seminaries) would be brought in the mainstream system of education.
He said that the budgetary allocation for providing better healthcare facilities would be increased from 0.6 per cent to 5 per cent of the GDP.
He said that hospitals would be built in Tehsils, Districts and villages for making health facilities accessible to all.
He said that training institutions would be established in each district for nurses, health visitors and other paramedical staff. Low cost insurance policies would be introduced, he added.
He said that laws for organ transplant and illegal trade of cadaverous organs would be strictly implemented.
He said that all secret funds at the disposal of president, prime minister, provincial chief ministers and ambassadors will be brought under public scrutiny through the Public Accounts Committee. Honest and dedicated government officers would be appointed, he added.
He said that the offices of federal and provincial ombudsman, accountant general, anti-corruption department, public accounts committee and monitoring teams of prime minister and chief ministers will be headed by elected public representatives in order to make them more efficient and effective.
He said that police will be brought under the administrative control of city and district governments.
He said provincial accountability bureaux will be established on the line of the National Accountability Bureau working at the federal level.
He said that the administrative working of PIA, PSO, Pakistan Railways, and PEPCO would be improved. Investment would be made in the microfinance sector in urban centres, he said.
He said that a comprehensive network of cottage industry would be established throughout the country.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said that public-private partnership would be established for encouraging new investments. One window operation would be ensured for boosting industrialisation, he added.
Speaking about the MQM's programme for urban development, Dr. Farooq Sattar said that single administrative agency would be established in each city and district that would work under an elected city or district nazim.
Traffic management will be taken back from the police department and it will be brought under the control of city or district governments, he added.
He said that low cost housing will be encouraged and investment will be made in the housing sector.
Highlighting his party's programme in agriculture sector, he said that agrarian reforms would be introduced and a limit will be placed on maximum land holdings of an individual. The surplus land would be distributed among landless peasants and farmers, he added.
He said that an alternate system would be established for providing quality seeds, fertilisers and pesticides to farmers at their door-step.
Short-term loans would be given to farmers and they would be encouraged in forming cooperative marketing societies in order to eliminate the role of the middle-man, he added.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said agro-based industries would be promoted in rural areas and incentives would be given for this purpose.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said that a national terrorism policy will be formulated in consultation with elected representatives, police, bureaucracy and the armed forces for eliminating the scourge of terrorism from the country.
He said the production of arms, its trade and illegal movements would be stopped in order to make Pakistan free from arms. The Bill submitted by the MQM in the National Assembly on January 16 would be passed for this purpose, he added.
Speaking about the rights of women, children and religious minorities, he said that child labour will be abolished and strict legislation will be done against domestic violence.
He said shelter homes would be established for women. All discriminatory laws against women and religious minorities will be eliminated, he added.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said that women will be given equal opportunities in every field of life including equal employment opportunities.
Women will be given 50 per cent representation in the parliament and provincial assemblies, he added.
Talking of the programme in energy sector, Dr. Farooq Sattar said that projects will be undertaken to ensure the supply of natural gas and electricity from Iran, Qatar and Central Asian Republics.
He said that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants and gas processing plants would be installed.
CNG policy will be reviewed and CNG prices would be reduced gradually along with petrol and natural gas, he added.
He said that oil and gas exploration projects will be undertaken to discover new reserves.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said that alternate energy sources such wind energy and solar energy would be promoted for controlling the energy crisis. Latest technology will be used for spreading alternate energy resources, he added.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said that the Constitution will be amended to lift the bar on overseas Pakistanis having dual nationalities from taking part in elections.
The constitutional right to vote of Overseas Pakistanis will be protected, he said.
He said that local government institutions are the nursery of the democracy, hence a system of local government would be established and power and resources would be devolved to the grassroots level. Local governments would be given full autonomy, he noted.
He said that election to the local government system would be held within three months after the holding of the general elections.
He added that all schools and colleges up to intermediate level would be brought under the administrative control of local governments.
He said that hospitals at the Town level will also be given under the control of city and district governments. An effective system of Community Policing will be established, he said.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said that vocational training centres will be established and students who have passed matriculation examination would be given admission to these training centres.
Centres will be established in each district for the development of the youth and for making them responsible, he said.
He said that Information Technology will be promoted and universities will be established in big cities for carrying out research work.
Information Technology parks would be established under provincial and federal governments, he added.
Speaking about the Foreign Policy, he said the foreign policy of the country will be free and sovereign.
Friendly and cordial relations will be established with all countries particularly the neighbouring countries. All regional conflicts will be resolved through dialogues, he added.
He said that the Kashmir dispute will be resolved through meaningful and genuine dialogues according to the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
He said that old age homes would be established in each district for the welfare of aged people.
Employment and education facilities would be given to people with physical or mental disabilities, added.
He said that reserved seats will be allocated for the disabled people in the National Assembly. Facilities will be provided to disabled people in order to give them free access to all places, he added.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said that the MQM is working for empowering the people at the grassroots level and it is with this cherished objective that the MQM is giving the slogan of "Empowering the People" for its manifesto drawn for Elections 2013.
He said that we believe that this manifesto is the voice of the 98 per cent deprived and disadvantaged people of the country and it will go a long way in empowering them and putting the country on the path of progress and prosperity.
He said that the election manifesto of the MQM will produce results as it gives effective solution to all the problems instead of enumerating the problems.
He said that all political and religious parties announce their manifestos at the time of elections.
Fanciful promises are made but the real test begins after coming into power when the manifesto has to be implemented and promises made to the public have to be fulfilled, he added.
He said that every party talks about the poor people and gets votes from them but had the political parties that have ruled the country many times actually implemented their manifesto, the situation of the country and the people would have been different.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said the MQM is the only party that did not merely raise the slogan of empowering the poor people, it actually introduced a real revolution in the politics of the country by sending the educated people from poor and middle-class segment of the society to the Senate and the National and Provincial Assemblies.
He said that even today if any political party is working for the rights of the poor people and waging a practical struggle to give them their rightful position in the society, it is the MQM.
The MQM believes that the circumstances of the poor and middle-class people cannot change unless they send leadership from within themselves to the elected houses, he said.
The MQM leader said that we believe that only those people can understand and solve the problems being faced by the people who have themselves faced those problems in their lives.
Those who have not faced any problems in their lives can neither understand nor find solutions for the problems that are faced by the people, he said.
He said that the MQM will continue its struggle to empower the people with a belief that the people would repose their confidence in the MQM on May 11, 2013 by making it successful with their precious votes.
A day will come when the oppressed and disadvantaged people will get their right to rule and lay the foundation for a bright and beautiful future, he added.