–Federal cabinet defers decisions on KE tariff hike, gas prices
–Faraz says Hajj Fund on Malaysian pattern to be set up
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed all provinces to constitute provincial finance commissions to bring the less-developed areas at par with developed areas.
The PM was chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet here.
The federal cabinet also deferred the decision to increase K-Electric’s power rates between Rs1.09 and Rs2.89 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for different tariff slabs.
Briefing the media about decisions taken in the federal cabinet, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said that Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umer will supervise the matters pertaining to provincial finance commissions in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan. The functional PFCs will help the government bring prosperity in backward areas of the provinces, he added.
The minister said that the premier has expressed the government’s determination to ensure transparency in the Senate elections. He said that votes are traded in the Senate polls. He added that two provinces have mostly raised voice against Senate polls.
Regarding the appointment of the heads of the national institutions, the information minister said that the past governments had failed to devise a proper mechanism for making deputations in the government institutions. It is not an easy task to bring improvements in a system, he said, adding the government is working on developing a system to streamline the appointments of heads in government institutions.
The information minister said the government is working on establishing the Hajj Fund on the pattern of Malaysia model.
Commenting on the sugar inquiry report, he said its main purpose is to ensure the provision of sugar to the consumers at a low price instead of defaming someone.
He also said the federal cabinet will take decisions for K-Electric and gas prices in its next session.
He further said that the cabinet reviewed all decisions taken in the previous meetings and discussed various suggestions related to the implementation of the delayed decisions.
Faraz said the people are being provided solar stoves in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) to prevent deforestation in the region.
He said the meeting was apprised that a total of 11,376 Pakistanis are imprisoned in various countries. The prime minister directed all Pakistan embassies to provide legal support to these prisoners and contact the concerned governments to ensure their release, he added.
Faraz said the federal cabinet has so far taken 1,759 decisions during its 93 sessions. The relevant authorities started implementation on 1,579 decisions, 28 decisions are delayed and 46 are due to be implemented, he added.
He also said that many projects for health sectors are under consideration for the construction of hospitals under the public-private partnership.
The information minister criticised the opposition, saying that the political parties have neither brought forward any agenda nor an alternative programme. He added that the opposition has been trying to create a situation of uncertainty for the last two weeks.
Faraz said that the opposition leaders are fully aware of their wrongdoings and they are trying to prevent themselves from accountability.
The opposition leaders should forget to compare themselves with PM Imran as they only want to save their supremos from accountability instead of working for the betterment of the country, he further said.
“Coronavirus pandemic has shaken the economies of developed countries. The national economy is in a quite better position if it is compared with other countries amid pandemic crisis. The country has recorded an increase in foreign investment, remittance and exports,” he said.
“We have launched a housing project for the construction of low-cost houses for the poor people,” he said. “We are also trying to ensure supplies of sugar on the lowest rates across the country.”