ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan instructed ministers to keep in touch with members of the ruling party’s national and provincial assemblies and also to contact those with whom they have personal relations for the upcoming senatorial elections.
The prime minister said in addressing the federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday that tickets had been given out on merit in the Senate elections, with the PTI respecting the views of its workers.
We want to limit the use of money in Senate elections, the premier said, according to Geo News. He said he would personally monitor electoral matters.
The federal cabinet has been informed that all economic activities will be restored from March 1, as coronavirus cases decline in the country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government has ordered all ministries to guarantee the reduction of unnecessary spending in order to save the people’s taxes. The prime minister ordered the finance secretary to make public all government agencies with a deficit and the size of the deficit so that the people have a thorough knowledge of the country’s affairs. The public should also be kept informed of progress.
The cabinet, with Imran Khan as president, took stock of key national issues, including the economic situation, the corona pandemic, its vaccination, missing persons and cases of child sexual abuse.
Informing reporters of cabinet decisions and answering their questions, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said the issue of enforced disappearances was raised by the Minister of Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari. The cabinet reaffirmed that the current government strongly believes in full transparency and the rule of law.
Imran Khan ordered the Minister of Justice to expedite the process of tabling legislation in Parliament in this regard. He recalled that he also used to visit sit-ins of families of missing persons to show them his solidarity.
Half the agony of family members comes to knowing that their loved one is alive and being kept there. So their main concern is whether the missing person is alive or not, argued the minister. Shibli Faraz said there were security concerns in all countries, but there had to be a three, six or nine month mechanism, as families’ first concern was whether their missing loved one was alive or not. and where was he.
The cabinet took serious note of the incidents of sexual offenses and expressed concern about the reports in this regard and ordered that the implementation of laws and measures be taken to prevent such offenses.
The Prime Minister expressed concern over incidents of child sexual abuse despite the enactment of the Zainab Alert law. He ordered the relevant authorities to take action to put an end to these incidents of sex crimes against women and children.
The cabinet was briefed on the status of the coronavirus and the prevalence rate. The cabinet was informed that the number and prevalence of corona cases in the country is declining. She was told that the corona vaccine was given to frontline workers. So far, around 50,000 frontline workers have been vaccinated and the process is accelerated.
The Prime Minister explored the progress made in granting the right to vote to overseas Pakistanis and installing electronic voting machines. The prime minister said the current government is determined to make the electoral process fully transparent. He asked the Electoral Reform Committee to identify all the administrative steps necessary for the installation of electronic voting machines in consultation with the president and to set deadlines in this regard. The prime minister said ensuring full transparency of the electoral process was the top priority of the current government.
The cabinet appreciated the law passed by the current government to give women the right to property and ordered that the process of enacting a law on the immediate settlement of the property issues of Pakistanis abroad be also expedited.
The cabinet was also briefed on the progress made so far in ceding government land to the occupying mafia. The cabinet was also informed of the progress of the Islamabad metro bus project.
The cabinet approved a 25% disparity reduction allowance for 2017 to reduce the pay gap between employees in various federal government departments and to relieve government employees. The increase will apply from the 1st to the 19th year and will come into effect on March 1st. The cabinet also decided that provincial governments would be responsible for reducing the wage gap in their departments.
The cabinet was informed that chronological promotions are being given in grades 1 to 16 on the model of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He was informed that the ad hoc relief allowance was being integrated into the basic salary from July 1, the actual benefit of which will be made available to retirees.
Speaking about the demand for a salary increase, the prime minister said the plight of government employees was fully understood. He said people across the country have suffered due to past mismanagement and the difficult economic situation. He said the corona pandemic has added to the economic problems.
The prime minister said that given the country’s economic difficulties, the current government has launched an austerity campaign and it was initiated by the prime minister’s office.
The cabinet approved the reconstitution of the board of governors of Pakistan Institute of Management Karachi.
The cabinet, on the recommendations of the Election Commission, approved the deployment of Pakistan Ranger (Sindh) troops to NA-221 Tharparkar-I during the by-elections.
The cabinet approved the appointment of Javed Qureshi as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited.
In response to a question, the minister clarified that at the time of the vote of no confidence against outgoing Senate Speaker Muhammad Sanjrani, he was House Leader and knew that the President had personal relations with the Senators and they voted for him. He added that the PTI government believed in the principle of the president’s continuity, as never in history had it happened that he was removed in this way.
Regarding the rising prices of essential commodities, he pointed out that various factors were causing it, such as when the PTI formed the government there was no governance, there was a huge gap between income and expenses, then COVID also happened.
Shibli said the government would try to have the next general election held using electronic voting machines and also giving overseas Pakistanis representation.
Shibli noted that the government is making an effort to ensure that all elections, including general and senatorial elections, are conducted transparently.
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