–Firdous says tribunals will decide media industry-related matters within 90 days
–Cabinet approves health cards for transgender persons, abolishes premium on new cars
ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday decided to set up special media tribunals to resolve issues relating to the media industry and other stakeholders.
Briefing reporters about the decisions taken in the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that media tribunals will replace the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) council of complaints to resolve issues pertaining to media and other stakeholders.
The special assistant said the tribunals will decide a matter within 90 days, adding that a bill in this regard will be tabled in the National Assembly (NA).
Dr Firdous said that the higher judiciary will patronise these tribunals. She said that all the pending cases with PEMRA will be referred to media tribunals. She added that Prime Minister Imran and the government believe in facilitation and empowerment of media.
She said that the establishment of media tribunals is an attempt to introduce best practices, norms and code of conduct of the democratic societies of the world.
Replying to a reporter’s question, she claimed that the tribunals would be free from government control or influence as the government functionaries would also be accountable to them.
The special assistant said that PM Imran also took the cabinet into confidence over his upcoming visit to the United States (US).
She said that the prime minister apprised the ministers about his agenda and priorities to highlight the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session and during his interactions with the international leadership and the media.
The special assistant said that the cabinet also approved health cards for transgender persons across Pakistan.
She said that around 5,000 such people exist in Pakistan and their data is being compiled with the help of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
She said that the cabinet decided to establish old age homes in the name of ‘Maskan’ at district level under Ehsas programme for the elderly people in the country.
She said that first ‘Maskan’ will be established in Sialkot as a pilot project, which will be replicated in rest of the country at a later stage. The prime minister has directed the concerned ministry to prepare priorities in this regard, she added.
Dr Firdous said that extension of one-time work visa for Chinese citizens was also approved to ensure unhindered work on the development projects being completed with Chinese cooperation in Pakistan.
She said the prime minister also directed to fully implement the deadline for filling the vacant posts in various government departments.
The special assistant informed that the cabinet approved transfer of erstwhile FATA’s Zakat funds to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government.
She said that 244 rehabilitation centres will be established for the treatment of drug addicts. She also said that prevention from drugs will be made part of the syllabus to save youth from falling prey to such menace.
Regarding growing incidents of dengue fever, she said that the federal government has instructed provinces to evolve an effective strategy to control the disease.
She said that every possible step will be taken to provide medical assistance to patients suffering from dengue.
Dr Firdous further said the cabinet approved abolishing premium on purchase of new cars.
To a query, Dr Firdous said an impression of some deal with a jailed personality was being given in the wake of some meetings with him. The rumour mill in that regard should stop as no deal would be done.
“Anyone convicted under the National Accountability Bureau law could come out of jail by returning the looted public money under a plea bargain,” she added.