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ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday decided to launch phase-II of Ehsaas Cash Programme to mitigate sufferings of weaker segments of society.

While briefing media after a cabinet meeting, information Minister Syed Shibli Faraz said Ehsas Emergency Cash Programme was commended internationally as 150 billion rupees was distributed among deserving people without any political bias and in a transparent manner.

He said the cabinet also lauded Finance Advisor Dr Hafeez Shaikh and his team for presenting a tax free budget, despite a difficult situation in the wake of COVID-19.

Regarding the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic, Syed Shibli Faraz said the government has formulated strict rules and regulations to avoid spread of Coronavirus and district administrations have been directed to ensure implementation of these precautionary measures on the occasion of upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that he would celebrate Eid-ul-Adha at his residence and he also asked people to celebrate the occasion, while staying inside their abodes, instead of mixing with others with a view to containing the spread of Coronavirus.

The Minister said due to Prime Minister Imran Khan's strategy to deal with the challenge of the spread of virus Pakistan remains least affected by the contagion as compared to other countries of the world. He said Pakistan adopted a strategy to deal with the coronavirus "in view of ground realities".

Commenting on the issues relating to Pakistani pilots, the Minister said the government is taking steps to make air travel secure as well as strengthen the engineering side of the Pakistan International Airlines. He said 28 pilots of PIA having faked and dubious licenses have been dismissed from service. He said that action has been started against officials of PIA and Civil Aviation Authority responsible for issuing fake licenses.

The PM directed the cabinet members to complete investigations into the dubious licenses of pilots at the earliest.

The federal cabinet meeting also considered a 16-point agenda including the political, economic and Coronavirus pandemic situation in the country. The matter of amending the Companies Act 2017 related to FATF has been postponed in the meeting.

The Minister said that the cabinet was also briefed about the progress on Sugar Inquiry report. It was told that sugar reforms committee has been constituted with the objective to ensure provision of sugar at affordable prices to the people.

The Federal cabinet has approved the appointment of Air Marshal Arshad Malik as Chief Executive of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), media reported on Tuesday.

The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting which was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The PM approved appointment of Air Marshal Arshad Malik as the chief executive of the national flag carrier for another three years. Malik will continue to serve as PIA chief after retirement from the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on July 12.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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