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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz has said that the federal cabinet will take decisions apropos K-Electric and gas prices in its next session and it has asked provincial governments to constitute provincial finance commissions.

This was stated by the minister during a media briefing after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

He said the federal cabinet in its meeting ensured government's determination to inject transparency into Senate elections. The federal cabinet that met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed the evolving political and economic situation of the country as well as the SOPs that would be observed across the country ahead of Eidul Azha.

The minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed all the provinces to constitute Provincial Finance Commissions (PFCs) to bring the less-developed areas at par with the developed areas.

The Federal Minister for Planning and Development will supervise the matters pertaining to the Provincial Finance Commission in Punjab, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, he added.

The minister said the government was working on developing a system to streamline the appointments of heads in government institutions.

The information minister said the past governments had failed to devise a proper mechanism for making deputations in government institutions.

It was not an easy task to bring improvements in a system, he added. He underscored the need for introducing reforms in the national institutions to eliminate unlawful activities.

Faraz said the federal government wanted to ensure transparency in polls through electoral reforms. "The federal cabinet has so far taken 1,759 decisions during its 93 sessions. The relevant authorities started implementation on 1,579 decisions, 28 decisions are delayed and 46 are due to be implemented, he said." "Many projects for health sectors are under consideration for the construction of hospitals under the public-private partnership. Moreover, a comprehensive strategy is being finalised for the proper utilisation of pension and Hajj funds, he added."

The minister said the government was working on establishing a 'Hajj Fund' on the pattern of Malaysia model.

The federal cabinet will take decisions on K-Electric and gas prices in its next session.

All provinces have been directed to establish Provincial Finance Commission (PFC). Those provinces where the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is in power, the matters related to the PFC establishment will be supervised by Minister for Planning Asad Umar.

The functionalisation of the PFC will help the government bring prosperity in less-developed areas of the provinces.

He said the cabinet reviewed all decisions taken in the previous meetings, and discussed various suggestions related to implementation of the delayed decisions.

Faraz said people were being provided solar stoves in Gilgit-Baltistan to prevent deforestation in the region.

He said the meeting was apprised that a total of 11,376 Pakistanis were imprisoned in various countries. The prime minister directed all Pakistan embassies to provide legal support to these prisoners, and contact the concerned governments to ensure their release.

Commenting on sugar inquiry report, he said its main purpose was to ensure provision of sugar to the consumers on low price instead of defaming someone. The information minister criticised the opposition, saying that the political parties had not brought forward any agenda or an alternative programme.

He added the opposition was trying to create a situation of uncertainty for the last two weeks.

Faraz said the opposition leaders were fully aware of their "wrongdoings", and they were trying to prevent themselves from accountability.

He said: "A culture had been introduced by the past governments, which violated merit and transparency. The former rulers had run the governments on the basis of corruption and greed. The opposition leaders should forget to compare themselves with Imran Khan as they only wanted to save their supremos from accountability instead of working for the betterment of the country.

"Coronavirus pandemic has shaken the economies of developed countries. The national economy is in quite a better position, if it is compared with other countries amid pandemic. The country has recorded an increase in foreign investment, remittances and exports.

"We have launched a housing project for the construction of low-cost houses for the poor people. We are also trying to ensure supplies of sugar on lowest rates across the country."

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020