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ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet which is scheduled to meet on Thursday (April 1) with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair (probably on video link), will discuss the country’s economic, political and Covid situation including fixation of Covid vaccine price.

Hammad Azhar, who has been given additional charge of Finance Minister, after unceremonious removal of Covid-19 hit Finance Minister, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh for failing to control inflation, will brief the Cabinet on economic situation, three-tranche bond deal to raise $ 2.5 billion, prospects of issuing Eurobonds and inflation.

The Cabinet, sources said, will appreciate the efforts of sacked finance minister, Hafeez Shaikh in bringing the economy back on track and pray for his early recovery from Covid-19.

The country’s political situation will also come under discussion especially after the split between the two top political parties of Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDM), ie, PML (N) and PPP, after the appointment of former Prime Minister, Senator, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani as Opposition Leader in the Senate. Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry has already announced that the government will contact opposition political parties individually for reforms in election process and on the accountability process. Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar, will brief the Cabinet on Covid situation and measures to import vaccine from different countries.

The Cabinet will also consider the following items as regular agenda; (i) presentation on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and right to vote to Overseas Pakistanis;(ii) presentation/update on the vacant positions of heads/CEOs of public sector organizations; (iii) presentations on the status of financial audit of all SOEs;(iv) presentation on steps to reduce port charges ;(v) scrapping of all Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs); (vi) appointment of Chairman PIACL Board; (vii) appointment of Member Production Coordination (MPC), POFB; (viii) foreign commercial loans and tax exemption on interest payments; (ix) utilization of the metropolitan club building F-9 Park, Pak China Friendship Centre and FATA House, Islamabad; (x) approval of maximum retail prices of drugs; (xi) proforma promotion to the post of Executive Director, NIH; (xii) expansion of Sahulat program to all permanent residents of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and GB on Nadra database;(xiii) appointment of Chairman Employees, Old Age Benefits Institution on contract basis; (xiv) retrieval/return of the control/management of Katas Raj Temples from the Government of Punjab to the Evacuee Trust Property Board;(xv) incorporation of new subsidiary for PSM; (xvi) ratification of decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC), in its meeting held on March 16, 2021; (xvii) ratification of the decisions taken by CCoP on March 18, 2021; (xviii) ratification of ECC decisions taken by the ECC on March 18, 2021; and (xix) approval for signing of MoU on Karachi Costal Comprehensive Development Zone(KCCDZ) between KPT and a China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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