Cabinet approves two ordinances as part of electoral reforms: Fawad

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said that the federal cabinet has approved two ordinances as part of electoral reforms to ensure transparency in elections.

He was briefing media about the decisions taken in the federal cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad Tuesday.

The minister said that one ordinance will enable the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to use electronic voting machines in elections, while the other empowers the ECP to take steps to give the overseas Pakistanis the right to franchise.

Fawad said that the government’s electoral reforms consist of four parts, including EVMs, e-voting for overseas Pakistanis, biometric and legislation.

He said that EVMs have been developed and the government has unveiled its legislative agenda for the purpose. He added that work is underway on biometric and e-voting.

Referring to the ECP’s decision of recounting of votes in the by-election in NA-249 Karachi, the Minister said that re-polling should be held in the constituency because the winning candidate will be getting only five per cent votes.

Speaking about the Covid-19 situation in the country, the information minister said that the Covid SOPs are not being implemented in letter and spirit in Karachi, and the Sindh Government should look into it. He said that the cabinet has approved the Sindh Government’s request for deployment of the army for ensuring implementation of the SOPs.

Fawad said that the cabinet approved 90-day remission to jail prisoners on the occasion of Eidul Fitr. However, this remission will not apply to the prisoners of heinous crimes.

He said that the facility of succession certificates through NADRA is also being provided to overseas Pakistanis, and in the first phase, desks are being opened in twenty-four embassies.

He said that the cabinet has approved the issuance of a commemorative coin to pay tribute to NED University Karachi on 100 years of its establishment.

The minister said that the cabinet also approved to waive off 10 per cent withholding tax on private sector bids in Railways.

Responding to a question, the minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia will greatly contribute to expanding bilateral ties.


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