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Federal Cabinet Approves Creation Of New Division For Poverty Alleviation

Chaired by Prime Minister, its also approved BoDs of PMDC, OGDCL, SSGC, SNGPL


LAHORE MIRROR– Pakistan’s federal cabinet on Tuesday formally approved creation of a new division for social protection of the poor and poverty alleviation from the country.

Briefing media persons about the decisions of cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Minster for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the new division headed by Dr Sania Nishtar would be named ‘Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Division’.

For the first time in the country’s history, a full-fledged division was being created for poverty alleviation, he

The minister also made it clear that the government had no intention to change the name of Benazir Income Support Programme. It had launched Ehsas programme for poverty alleviation, under which
loans would be provided to the jobless youth and to the shelterless people for the construction of houses.

He said the cabinet also approved a budget of Rs 57.3 billion for Khassadars and other law enforcement forces working in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The minister said the cabinet also gave approval to the decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Council (ECC).

He said the Prime Minister directed to prepare a complete road map regarding procurement of wheat, cotton, and rice to benefit the farmers. Export of one million tons of surplus wheat was approved
by the cabinet, he added.

Chaudhry Fawad said it was the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government’s efforts due to which the sugarcane growers got suitable prices of their crop for the first time.The Prime Minister also advised to evolve a comprehensive policy to set prices of vehicles so that the consumers were saved from overcharging, he added.

The minister said the cabinet also approved ban on the broadcast of India’s IPL matches in Pakistan. India missed no opportunity to harm Pakistan’s cricket, he added.

Pakistan believed that sports, culture, and other showbiz activities should not be politicized, but India adopted an aggressive posture against Pakistani players and artists, he added.

He said the Indian broadcaster pulled out from broadcasting Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches to harm Pakistan’s cricket and the decision to ban airing the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches was taken in that background.

Fawad said the Ministry of Information had proposed the cabinet to impose ban on telecasting IPL matches in Pakistan in response to India’s organised attempts to harm cricket in the country.

“It does not make sense for us to allow an Indian domestic tournament to be promoted here.”

After the cabinet’s endorsement of the ban, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) would ensure that no IPL  match was now shown on any TV channel, he added.  The minister said the cabinet had taken 607 decisions during its 33 meetings since the PTI came to power. About 375 decisions had been fully implemented, while the rest were in implementation phase, he added.

He said the cabinet also gave approval to the appointment of Arshad Malik as the Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan International Airlines.

The cabinet also approved reconstitution of the boards of Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, Oil and Gas Development Authority, Sui Southern Gas Company, and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd, he added.

Responding to various questions, he said Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar would present a comprehensive economic roadmap. The economy was now far better  as compared to August 2018 when the PTI took charge of the government.

Steps were being taken to ensure that during summer, especially in the holy month of Ramzan, the people would get relief from loadshedding, he added.

He said Minister for Energy Umar Ayub would soon announce a roadmap for energy.

About military courts, the minister said at the time of approval of National Action Plan, the decision in that regard was made in consensus and now extension in their tenure would also be decided in consensus with all the political forces. However, he said the political parties should keep the national interest in mind while
making a decision about the military courts, and should not attach the issue of accountability with it.

He said during the last 10 years, Sindh got almost Rs 9 trillion as its share of NFC award, however, the amount was transferred abroad instead of being spent on the people’s welfare.

The people of Sindh were also questioning the transfer of national wealth abroad, he added.

To a question, he said overall the 18th Constitutional Amendment was a good piece of legislation, but there was need to review its some portions in national interest.

Fawad said the entire world had rejected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s narrative against Pakistan and even Indian people had raised questions about it. He advised Modi to contest next elections on the basis of his government’s performance in past five years and not on anti-Pakistan hype.

The minister said a week had passed since Nawaz Sharif was released from jail, but so far he was not admitted to any hospital.

Maryam Nawaz, who used to give updates on health condition of her father on daily basis, had also stopped issuing tweets in that regard.

He hoped Nawaz Sharif would have overcome mental stress by now and he should get treatment before his six-week bail period expired.

Cabinet approves BoDs of PMDC, OGDCL, SSGC, SNGPL

The cabinet also approved new Boards of Directors (BoDs) of four public sector companies including Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL), Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), Sui Northern Gas Company Limited (SNGPL) and Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC).

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain announced the names of new BoDs’ chairmen and members.

Shamsuddin Ahmed Sheikh would be the new Chairman of PMDC’s BoD, while members include Ejaz Ali Khan, Muhammad Dawood, Huma Ejaz Zaman and Irshad Ali Khokhar, besides other concerned officials.

The OGDCL’s BoD would be headed by Qamar Javed Sharif and its members include Akbar Ayub Khan from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Saeed Ahmed Qureshi from Balochistan, Sadia Khan and Nisar Ahmed from Sindh, Saud S Khwaja from Punjab, besides other concerned officials.

Dr Shamshad Akhtar would head the SSGC’s BoD and members include Muhammad Riazuddin, Qazi Azmat Esa, Faisal Bengali and M S Nida Razwan Farid, besides other concerned officials.

The SNGPL’s BoD would be chaired by Syed Dilawar Abbas and members include Dr Sohail Razi Khan, M A Mian, M S Rohi R Khan and Hamayatullah Khan, besides other concerned officials.

Meanwhile, the Petroleum Division said appointments in the BoDs had been made on merit and through a transparent manner with an objective to transform the public sector organizations into profit-earning entities so that they could contribute to national exchequer vibrantly.

In the BoDs, it said, provincial representation had been ensured and it was for the first time in the country’s corporate history that women had been also been made part of the boards.