RAWALPINDI  -   Prime Minister Imran Khan said he is aware of the miseries of people due to price hike but expressed the hope that the tough days would be over as the government was adopting systemic reforms besides launching programmes of social welfare and national development.

The nations experience ups and downs in their journeys, he said. “Once the system is rectified, you will realise how blessed your country is. Be assured, tough days will be over... Pakistan will sail through the difficult time and emerge as a great nation,” he remarked.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of 200-bed Mother and Children Hospital here in Rawalpindi on Friday, the prime minister claimed that the country was moving towards progress and prosperity.

PM Khan said he knew that electricity and gas bills were on a surge and there was general surge in price of all the commodities and services, causing difficulties for the common man. But, he said, all this happened due to the erroneous policies of previous government.

This difficult situation has occurred because the national institutions were left under heavy debt burden. He said the government inherited a debt of Rs30,000 billion on the country. There was Rs1,300 billion debt on power sector and Rs150 billion on gas sector, he added.

Inflation was bound to happen when loans would be taken so lavishly, he remarked. The PM said the nation would have to go through tough time as the government was struggling to reform the whole system to reduce the foreign debts by increasing its revenue. He said the present government was giving away goats and hens to the poor to gain economical stability in their lives.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique, Housing Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema and provincial minister Raja Rashid Hafeez were also present on the occasion.

The prime minister lauded the dedication of the railways minister to get the construction of the hospital completed that had been facing delay since 2005.

He said besides Punjab government, the national health task force would fully support the project. He added that fulfilment of basic human needs represented the real government. He said from the very first day, the government had strived to reform the existing healthcare facilities besides establishing the new ones.

Referring to the launch of landmark poverty alleviation program, health insurance facility for the poor, shelter homes, housing for low-income group and business loans for the youth, Premier Khan said the government was inculcating a new thinking in the society.

CM Usman Buzdar said he was happy over the completion of the hospital project  and added that Punjab government would assist the MCH management in running the administrative affairs.

Talking about the development projects, the chief minister said the PTI government has released Rs157 billion for development projects in Lahore. He said the Ring Road project would be executed with a cost of Rs50 billion to ease traffic flow while they would also construct a signal-free expressway with cost of Rs70 billion.

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid said the Mother and Child Hospital in Rawalpindi is a state-of-the-art hospital which has 200 beds and will be equipped with the latest equipment. He added that the hospital currently has 11 modern operation theatres while their number will be increased to 17 over time.

The minister said there was a dire need for this hospital to be functional as soon as possible so that the pressure on the other three government hospitals could be reduced and women and babies could get better care and cure.

He also thanked former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar for directing to initiate this dedicated hospital project in the public interest.