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ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Wednesday was informed that all pilots with dubious licenses have been fired and only 'cleared' pilots are flying planes now.

Briefing media after the cabinet meeting in Islamabad, Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said federal government has initiated a thorough process of reforms in Civil Aviation Authority and all airlines of the country to ensure transparency in all procedures and licensing of pilots.

The Information Minister said pilots with dubious credentials have been grounded forthwith. He said the pilots whose licenses were found to be suspicious have been terminated from service.

He said five employees of CAA have also been grounded till the process is completed. In addition, the CAA has been directed to start further action on fast track basis. He said degrees of all airline staff will be verified.

The minister said the Prime Minister strongly believes in meritocracy and transparency in all sectors.

Faraz said the cabinet deliberated on the report of Auditor General and expressed its satisfaction that remarkable improvement has been made in procedures during this government.

He said the cabinet also endorsed the decisions taken in the ECC meeting of 25th of last month.

The cabinet accorded its approval to three agreements of hydropower projects. It also took into consideration the renewable energy options for power production including solar and wind. The prime minster directed to remove any hurdles and bottlenecks to the way of these alternative sources to encourage cheap energy production.

The cabinet also discussed sustainable development goals and on the suggestion of Minister for Information Technology Aminul Haq, the Prime Minister directed to reallocate development funds within a month before their lapse.

Shibli Faraz said the Prime Minister directed to activate provincial finance commission in order for equitable development in all parts of provinces in an organized way and without any undue influence. This will also help remove sense of deprivation from among residents of different areas in a province. He said the Prime Minister directed to form a committee under the leadership of Federal Minister of Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar to look into public sector projects to be undertaken on the basis of reduced costs and improved quality. The committee will submit its report in 90 days' time. The cabinet accorded its approval to appointments of auditor for SECP.

The Minister said the cabinet discussed the potential of IT exports and how to increase Pakistan's share in the international market. This sector has the potential to increase exports to 5 billion dollars from the earlier one billion dollars.

The forum discussed the issue of evacuee properties and their optimal use for income generation. It was decided that education and health related properties can be offered to private parties to not only generate their business but also provide facilities to the public.

Replying to a question, the Minister said a transparent system of accountability is inevitable for the development of the country. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will hold all those who looted the national exchequer accountable.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan always gives priority to the national interests instead of personal interests.

The Minister said that opposition is playing negative politics on the current situation. He urged the opposition to join hands with the government to meet challenges in the wake of the corona pandemic.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020