‘PM has not given statement about next year’s Haj operation’ | Pakistan Today

‘PM has not given statement about next year’s Haj operation’

ISLAMABAD – The prime minister has not given any statement that the Haj operation would be conducted by the Foreign Affairs Ministry from next year, Federal Labour and Manpower Minister Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah told the National Assembly (NA) on Friday. “The PM has not given any statement that the Haj operation will be conducted by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the foreign minister himself said that the Foreign Office cannot take the responsibility,” Khurshaid said while speaking during the question hour session. He said that the Federal Religious Affairs Ministry did not have money of the pilgrims, as the money was lying with the Saudi government.
“The Religious Affairs Ministry gave 1,000 riyals per pilgrim to the Saudi government for certain facilities.
Now when those facilities were not provided, the federal government gave the money to the pilgrims and the federal government will demand the amount from the Saudi government”, Khurshid said. The NA was informed that 0.5 million metric tonnes of sugar were supplied to the Utility Stores Corporation (USC) from January to December 2010. Answering a supplementary question about reduction in sweetness and quality of imported sugar sold at USC outlets, Federal Industries and Production Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani said that sugar in powder form is consumed all over the world and there was no question of its low quality. He said that sugar’s chemical analysis also confirmed that it is fit for consumption. Bijrani said that present policy of one USC retail outlet in one union council (UC) would be revised and more outlets would be established in congested areas.
He said that the new industrial policy draft was ready and would be presented to the cabinet very soon. Replying to a question about cotton exports, Textile Minister Rana Farooq Saeed said that cotton exports had increased 20 percent last year. He said that there was no law about cotton theft and the federal government was consulting all stakeholders for legislation and a new bill would be submitted in the House within two months. Saeed said that cotton growers would be included in the new legislation and cotton policy.



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