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Federal Cabinet defers proposal to enhance PTV fee

  • He said that the state-run TV was facing problems in payment of pension to its 3000 pensioners.
Published July 21, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said on Tuesday that the proposal for enhancing Pakistan Television Corporation fee was deferred by the Federal Cabinet till next week.

Briefing media person, after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said the proposal was discussed in the cabinet in wake of financial difficulties being faced by PTV.

He said that the state-run TV was facing problems in payment of pension to its 3000 pensioners.

He said that the previous governments had brought the PTV to the verge of collapse , which had a glorious past and the present government wanted to revive its past glory.

The minister said the PTV, like other national institutions including Pakistan Steel and Pakistan International Airlines were left in dire straits by the previous governments by appointment of cronies in utter disregard of merit and mismanagement.

Shibli said restructuring of PTV had been approved but funds were needed to replace its obsolete equipment as the process of production had been almost halted.

He said the cabinet also appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan's decision making it mandatory for public office holders to declare their assets to ensure transparency and to increase people's confidence in their representatives.

He said it was a historic step as no such tradition existed in Pakistan in the past.

The minister said that the cabinet assured the prime minister that they would move forward the PM’s philosophy of transparency.

He said that in the past, the governments focused on costly power projects and credit for start of work Diamir Bhasha dam went to the PTI regime which was the first big dam since the Ayub Khan era.

He said it was a project which would benefit the coming generations of the country by meeting needs of power and water storage.

About the issue of payment of outstanding dues of media houses, the minister said that the prime minister had issued instructions for early payment of dues.

Regarding availability of wheat and wheat flour in the market, Shibli Faraz said the government had allowed the public and private sector to import the commodity to avoid any shortage.

He said that the cabinet gave directives to the concerned ministries to take all steps to stabilize its prices.

The cabinet directed that there should not be any hindrance in transportation of wheat and flour within the country and for meeting the gap between wheat produce and demand, import of the commodity had been allowed to both the public and private sector.

He said Sindh government would be requested to waive off excise duty on import of wheat.

Shibli said that the cabinet also gave approval to the Treasury Single Account Rules 2020, which was introduced to streamline the utilization of the government funds as in the past every ministry and division had their own accounts and funds were not utilized properly.

The cabinet, he said, also approved amendments in Anti-Money Laundering Bill 2020, and amendments in Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 to control money laundering and terror financing to the satisfaction of FATF.

The cabinet also gave its nod to National Health Emergency Response Act 2020, to meet health emergencies in future.

He said realization of coordination among the units of the federation was felt during the coronavirus outbreak.

He said the National Command and Operation Centre overcame this problem and time proved that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s strategy to save lives and livelihood had proved very effective.

The minister said that Pakistan was much better than many neighbouring and advanced countries where both economies and health sectors were destroyed by the outbreak.

He said there was need of keeping social distancing by following SOPs on Eidul Azha so that the spread of the pandemic could be further controlled.

Shibli said that the PTI government’s construction sector incentives would not only revive the economy but provide homes to the low-income people, a slogan of another political party but being translated into reality under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said under the plan mortgage facilities would be extended to the housing sector which would revolutionize the entire concept of house building.

The minister said a report regarding Ehsas Emergency Cash Programme was also presented before the cabinet.

He said the prime minister appreciated Special Assistant on Poverty Allocation and Social Protection Dr. Sania Nishtar and her entire team for transferring cash assistance to the deserving people in a transparent manner and beyond political considerations.

He said during the meeting, the prime minister said that this infinitive was taken for the betterment of the poor segments of the society and no political motives were behind it as it was purely a humanitarian initiative.

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