Federal cabinet approves creation of new division, Social Protection & Poverty Alleviation

Federal cabinet approves creation of new division, Social Protection & Poverty Alleviation

The Federal Cabinet, which met in Islamabad today with Prime Minister in the chair, formally approved creation of a new division in the name of Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Division.

Briefing news persons about Cabinet decisions, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the new division will be headed by Dr. Sania Nishtar and it will coordinate functions of different organizations under the newly launched Ehsas Programme.

He said the new poverty alleviation programme envisages provision of health cards and affordable housing facilities for the low income people.

The Information Minister categorically said that the government is not going to change the name of Benazir Income Support Programme.

He said financial aid is provided to poor people through BISP, Zakaat, and Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal, whereas under the new social welfare programme, new initiatives will be taken.

The Information Minister said the Cabinet also approved a budget of 57.3 billion rupees for Khassadar and other forces working in erstwhile FATA.

He said the Cabinet gave approval to the decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Council. 

Fawad Chaudhry said the Prime Minister directed to prepare a complete roadmap on wheat, cotton, and rice and prepare a procurement policy to benefit the agriculture sector. He said the Cabinet also decided export of one million tons of wheat.

He said the Prime Minister Imran Khan advised to evolve a comprehensive policy to set prices of vehicles. He said it is PTI government's efforts due to which sugarcane growers got prices of their crop in time for the first time. 

Fawad Chaudhry said the cabinet nodded to ban broadcasting of India's IPL matches in Pakistan. He said India has left no opportunity to harm Pakistan's cricket.

He said sports, culture, and other showbiz activities should not be politicized, but India adopted an aggressive posture against our players and artists.

He said Indian broadcaster pulled out from broadcasting PSL matches to harm Pakistan's cricket. He said now the PEMRA would ensure that IPL matches should not be aired in Pakistan.

The Minister said Boards of Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, Oil and Gas Development Authority, Sui Southern Gas Pipelines, and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines have been reconstituted. Shamsuddin Sheikh has been appointed Chairman PMDC and Qamar Javed Sharif the chief of OGDC

He said the Cabinet approved appointment of Arshad Malik as the Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan International Airlines.

Fawad Chaudhry said the Cabinet approved extension in the license of Vision Air International for one year.

Answering a question, Fawad Chaudhry said Finance Minister Asad Umar will announce a new Economic Roadmap for development of industries and other sectors.

Similarly, he said Energy Minister Umar Ayub Khan will present a new roadmap for energy. He said that efforts would be made to ensure that no load-shedding takes place in the next summer.

The Information Minister said directions have also been given to ensure availability of gas in the next winter season.

To a question about 18th Amendment, he said some clause of the Amendment regarding higher education and health can be amended, if there is a political consensus on it.

To a question, he said establishment of military courts is need of the hour and these courts have performed well. He said if opposition agrees the tenure of military courts can be extended.

Answering another question about India's belligerent posture, the Information Minister said Prime Minister Modi should better rethink his policy, because he has badly failed and even the Indian people do not believe in his rhetorics.