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Inflation Drops to 6.4% in Dec; Exports and Remittances Increase, Cabinet Told

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ISLAMABAD– The federal cabinet, which met here Tuesday with Prime Minister Imran Khan in chair, was told that the rate of inflation recorded at 6.4% in the month of December 2020 was expected
to come down further during the coming months.

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar told the cabinet that with the rate of inflation recorded at around 11.1% last year, the percentage of inflation during first six months of the current fiscal year (July-December, 2020) was recorded at 8.6 percent.
The participants were told that the exchange rate was stable whereas
the country’s stock market was at the highest level after April 2018.
He briefed the cabinet regarding marked improvement in the country’s
economic indicators recorded during July-December period of the
current fiscal year (2020-21).
The participants were told that the country’s exports, as compared to
several previous years, witnessed increase during the last six months,
whereas workers’ remittances also recorded an increase of US$ 2.8
billion.
With US$ 2 billion increase recorded in the country’s foreign exchange
reserves as compared to last year, tax collection also registered 7.9
percent increase in the month of December alone, it was told.
The meeting was further told that the utilization of funds under
Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) also recorded 7.4 percent
increase over the last year, which was a record first six months’
increase in the utilization of PSDP funds in eight years.
The cabinet was told that with revenue receipts surpassing
expenditures, the country’s agriculture sector performed well as the
production of rice, cane and maize recorded the growth of 10%, 13% and
9%, respectively.
With encouraging growth in manufacturing, Large Scale Manufacturing
(LSM) sector, which recorded 7.4% increase this year, registered 14.5%
growth in the month of December alone, a record increase in 12 years.
The meeting was briefed in detail regarding the Constitutional
Amendment for open balloting in Senate elections.
Advisor on Institutional Reforms and Austerity gave a detailed
briefing to the cabinet regarding the institutional reforms, as
proposed by the Task Force on Austerity and Restructuring of the
Government, including the abolition of 70,000 vacant posts in the
federal ministries and divisions and reducing the number of federal
government institutions from 441 to 324.
The cabinet was told that with no increase in the expenditures of
ministries and institutions during the last two years, recommendations
based on reforms regarding the restructuring of seven institutions
have been given to the relevant ministries for implementation.
Progress on the implementation of these reforms was continuously being
reviewed.
The meeting was briefed about significant improvement in the
performance of ministries, progress on the targets set for the
completion of E-filing, reduction in expenditures, reforms regarding
monetization and increasing the limit of funds released by divisions
under the PSDP.
The cabinet was also briefed about the implementation of these reforms
and the roadmap of expected results.
The meeting agreed to constitute a commission under the Commission of
Inquiry Act 2017, instead of a committee, to investigate the matter of
Broadsheet, UK asset recovery firm.
The federal cabinet also reiterated its resolve to observe the Kashmir
Solidarity Day on February 5 in an effective manner.
The meeting approved the cabinet committee’s recommendations
regarding bringing the National Disaster Management Fund under
administrative control of the Ministry of Planning, Development,
Reforms and Special Initiatives as well as the permanent
administrative structure of the institutions.
The cabinet approved the accession documents regarding Pakistan’s
membership of International Network on Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR).
The meeting, in the light of the decision of Islamabad High Court
(IHC), approved reconstitution of the committee regarding
regularization of daily wage and contract employees.
The federal cabinet approved six months extension in the application
of Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act 1952 on all grades’
employment under the National Institutional Facilitation Technologies.
The meeting also approved six months extension in the application of
Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act 1952 on the employees of
Pakistan Security Printing Corporation and Security Papers Limited
Karachi.
The cabinet approved the appointment of Chartered Accountant Firm for
auditing the accounts of the National Database and Registration
Authority (NADRA) for fiscal year 2019-20.
It also approved the recommendations of the Ministry of National
Health Services, Regulations and Coordination regarding the import of
Covid-19 vaccine.
The cabinet approved the draft Workers Welfare Fund Housing Allotment
Policy 2020 and the subsequent signing of a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) between the Workers Welfare Fund and Naya Pakistan
Housing Authority under the policy.
It also endorsed the decisions taken by the Cabinet Committees on
Institutional Reforms and Energy in their separate meetings held,
respectively, on January 7 and 14 and January 18 and 21, 2021.
The meeting also endorsed the decisions taken by the Economic
Coordination Committee of the Cabinet and the Cabinet Committee on
State Matters during their separate meetings held on January 20, 2021.
The cabinet approved the appointment of Secretary Workers Welfare Fund.
Regarding election of the Board of Directors of the Oil and Gas
Development Company Limited (OGDCL), the meeting approved the
nominations of Syed Khalid Siraj, Zafar Masood, Maham Riaz Khan,
Shamama-tul-Ambar Arbab, Jahanzeb Durrani and Akbar Ayub Khan.

SOURCE: APP