ISLAMABAD (our reporter):- The Federal Cabinet has decided to take steps for ensuring implementation of SOPs instead of close the business activities fot prevent the spread of Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the country.

The Federal Minister Asad Omar gave a detailed briefing to the Cabinet on the spread of OMICRON Variant in the country. He said that the number of current cases has increased to 5,000 per day, the hospitalization rate has increased by 2.5 times and the ICU rate by 30%. Cabinet calls for ensuring implementation of SOPS, use of mask and vaccination to prevent the spread of Omicron. However, the Cabinet reiterated its commitment that the government would refrain from taking steps that would harm business and economic activity.

A discussion on Special Technology Zones in cabinet was held. The Cabinet was informed that establishment of special technology zones is successfully providing employment and increasing the country’s IT exports. The government is spending huge sums of money in major projects for the development of the technology sector which has started yielding positive results.

The Cabinet discussed the importance of effective legislation in the National Assembly and further strengthening the role of Parliament in the development of the country. Cabinet directed the government members and federal ministers to ensure their attendance in Parliament.

The Cabinet had a discussion on the State Bank Amendment Bill. The State Bank Amendment Bill is essential for the improvement of the economy and structural reforms. The Central Banks of the United States and The United Kingdom are more powerful than state Bank of Pakistan. The Cabinet was told that the Board of Governors of State Bank would take all important decisions and the board members would be nominated by Government of Pakistan. Amendments were made regarding the autonomy of the State Bank in previous governments as well. In addition, the Cabinet was informed that the decision making on the State Bank Amendment Bill was done by taking into account all aspects of national security and economic development of the country. Directions were issued to raise public awareness in this regard.

The Cabinet recommended that the aspects of Conflict of Interest be taken into account while appointing members and officials in the Standing Committees of Parliament.

The Cabinet was briefed on Urea production in the country by Ministry of Industries and Production. Urea production in the country this year was at the highest level in Pakistan’s history. Timely measures were taken to prevent hoarding of urea. Cabinet was briefed about the steps taken by the government to improve power transmission system.

The Cabinet was briefed in detail on the performance and losses of power distribution companies. The Cabinet was further informed that for the first time in the history of the country, the circular debt is decreasing. The Cabinet issued directions for action against the elements who steal electricity and the officers who assist them in such acts.

The Cabinet discussed government’s initiatives to protect green areas in major cities of Pakistan, retrieval of encroached land from Qabza Mafia and increase in green cover in Urban centers. It was informed that there was a marked decline in the number of green areas and trees in Islamabad uptil 2018. After 2018, due to government steps, not only the green cover in Islamabad increased, green areas were restored but also encroached state land was was retrieved from the Qabza Mafia.

The Cabinet directed to ensure completion of master plan of all major cities on priority basis and to increase the number of green areas and green cover in urban centers.

The Cabinet approved waiver of delay due to Code-19 in import of vehicles of Overseas Pakistanis on the recommendation of Ministry of Commerce. After the approval, the five vehicles will be cleared by paying customs duty from the port within ten days which have been parked at the port for the last one and a half years.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Finance, the Cabinet allowed the amendment of the Rules of Business, 1973. After this amendment, other senior officials besides sectaries in federal ministries can also be appointed as principal accounting officers.

The Cabinet on the recommendation of Ministry of Finance has granted exemption to First Woman Bank Limited from 6 months audit of 2019-20 and approved audit of 2021 for the sixth year by KPMG.

The Cabinet approved the issuance of notification of authorised officers under Pakistan Essential Services Act 1952. *On the recommendation of the Ministry of interior, the Cabinet approved the ratification of UNTOC’s Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (The “Trafficking Protocol”). The ratification will help prevent illegal human trafficking. Further, the Cabinet issued directions to set up a committee to decide on the ratification of Protocl against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (the “Smuggling Protocol”).

The Cabinet approved on recommendation of Ministry of Maritime Affairs to hand over additional charge of Managing Director of Korangi Fisheries Harbour Authority Karachi to Director General Ports and Shipping Wing Karachi, Syed Syedain Zaidi for 3 months.

The Cabinet approved the Summary of Ministry of National Heritage and Culture on ratification of 2005 Convention on UNESCO on The Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expression. It also Cabinet approved the reconstitution of Board of Directors of Pakistan Railways Freight Transportation Compnay (PRFTC). The Board of Directors will include the following: Abdar Khan Naveed Arshad Taiba Rasheed Farrukh Shaukat Ansari Professor Dr. Fakhara Rizwan *Cabinet approved the reconstitution of Board of Directors of Railway Construction Pakistan Limited (RAILCOP). The Board of Directors includes the following: Azim Adil Sheikh Shahid Aziz Fariduddin Ahmed Sahibzada Mansoor Ali Arshad Farooq

The Cabinet deferred the approval of audit of regulatory authorities by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) until a final decision is taken by the Decision Making Committee. Further, the cabinet stressed on the importance of independent audit for transparency.

The Cabinet was presented the National Electric Power Regulatary Authority’s (NEPRA) Annual Report of 2020-21 and State of Industry Report 2021 The Cabinet was informed that for the first time in 24 years, NEPRA’s report has been made public. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, IGCEP plan has been given. Before this there was no system system to monitor the power consumption and supply. This system will also help to ensure that the government does not face stringent conditions from private power plants like previous governments. A system is being brought under which industries will be able to buy their electricity from private power plants other than the government. The Cabinet was further informed that the industry was helped during COVID by giving concession on electricity under the industrial package given by the government. Peak hours were abolished and concessions were also made on more units (both residential and commercial units). Further, the Cabinet was informed that the installation of digital meters would be started from Islamabad, soon.

By adminmy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.