Important decisions taken in Federal Cabinet meeting under PM Imran Khan

Important decisions taken in Federal Cabinet meeting under PM Imran Khan

SLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday greenlit the three-week extension sought by the sugar probe commission in presenting its final report.

A meeting of the cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, was briefed on the commission's probe by Shahzad Akbar, the premier's aide on accountability.

According to official data submitted to the commission probing the sugar crisis — which saw the commodity go scarce in the markets and prices shoot up — as many as 24 sugar mills received Rs11.8 billion in freight subsidies from the federal and Punjab governments in 2017 and 2019 combined.

The report had stated that Jahangir Tareen, a close aide of the prime minister and a senior leader of the PTI, along with federal minister Khusro Bakhtiar's brother, benefited the most from the hike in sugar prices in January. Another major beneficiary identified in the report was Moonis Elahi, a senior leader of the government's ally, the PML-Q.

Today's cabinet meeting also approved an assistance package for the families of healthcare workers at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any healthcare worker, who dies while performing duties related to COVID-19 shall be entitled to the same package as is applicable to government servants in cases of security-related deaths contained in the 'Shuhadaa Package'. It will be applicable in the domain of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan.

The prime minister, in the wake of the pandemic, has directed to ban the export of all common edible items. The decision will be reviewed after two weeks.

The prime minister, in his remarks during the meeting, said the government plans to offer state-owned land located in major cities to overseas Pakistanis in a bid to generate much need financial resources.

The cabinet ratified the decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee taken in its meetings held on April 22 and 27.

While approving the first phase of the Rs 75 billion relief package for labourers, the prime minister directed his Special Assistant for Social Welfare Dr Sania Nishtar and Minister for Industries Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, to devise a comprehensive mechanism for providing relief to the labourers.

Meanwhile, Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafiz Shaikh briefed the cabinet about the progress made in regulating the affairs of the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP).

The cabinet approved the appointment of Shaista Bano Gillani as acting Chairperson of CPP.

Once the law is enforced, the qualified financial contracts will always be settled on the basis of “netting” in the presence of the netting arrangement.

Additionally, the cabinet approved a proposal to notify that all the companies supplying electricity or gas through distribution or transmission lines, be members of a Credit Bureau and to furnish information in accordance with the Credit Bureau Act, 2015.

While approving the allocation for a grant-in-aid from the federal government for journalists and journalistic bodies, especially press clubs, the cabinet tasked Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz and Special Assistant to PM for Information Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa to finalise the procedure for disbursement of the grant to the deserving.

The cabinet also approved the modalities for the export of chloroquine by importers in possession of raw material.