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Agri, non-agri products to be registered to maintain identity

  • Information minister Fawad Chaudhry says import law not being implemented for the last 12 years
  • Consequently, India fraudulently got Pakistan's Basmati registered in its own name
Published July 14, 2021
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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhary said that the federal cabinet has decided to register some agriculture and non-agriculture products pointed out by the Commerce Ministry under Geographical and Indication Protection Act 2020 to maintain their identity.

Briefing media about the decisions taken by a meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhary said this import law was not being implemented for the last 12 years and consequently, India fraudulently got Pakistan’s Basmati registered in its own name.

Similarly, he added, Pakistani pink salt is being sold under the name of Indian salt world over.

The present government is reversing all these things with the objective to maintaining Pakistan’s good identity, he added.

The minister said the meeting also approved retail price of 49 medicines, which were not so far being manufactured in Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan was obviously concerned over the current situation in Afghanistan and wants the international community to stand by Pakistan, “instead of making prediction about Afghan refugees.”

The world should fulfil its obligation, he said, adding that Pakistan has already been hosting three million Afghan refugees.

The federal cabinet directed the relevant ministries to prepare a comprehensive policy to deal with the emerging situation but stated that “this is not Pakistan’s responsibility alone as international cooperation is required to move ahead on the Afghan issue.”

The minister said that a discussion on electoral reforms process is moving ahead with the opposition and there is agreement on some issues.

However, efforts are being made to reach consensus on matters of disagreement on electoral reforms, he added.

The minister said that Saudi Arabia has decided to release 85 Pakistanis from its jails on the occasion of Eidul Azha, and Pakistani authorities are making arrangements to bring them back home.

He said that so far on the request of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Saudi Arabia has released hundreds of Pakistani prisoners from its jails.

Fawad said that Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan updated the meeting about the corona situation and availability of vaccines, with the minister urging people not to pay any heed to conspiracy theories and get themselves vaccinated.

The minister said that so far, 20 million people have got themselves vaccinated “and if nothing happened to them than nothing would happen to others as well.”

However, corona cases are on the rise in Karachi and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, he added.

The federal cabinet has also decided three days holidays on Eidul Azha as opposed to five days proposed by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

The federal cabinet was also submitted a report on security protocol and this was apparent from the details that security protocol was being enjoyed more by the opposition and former bureaucrats as compared to the members of federal cabinet.

The prime minister directed that the security protocol should be rationalised and a report be submitted after reviewing the protocol laws.

The meeting also decided that “extra” protocol would also be withdrawn from the cabinet members.

The government would plant 500 million trees during the monsoon season, and would create an assets management company and all the properties of the government would be placed under its control for taking decisions about their utilisation.

He said that even navy and air force have been asked to remove security from green areas.

The federal cabinet also decided to restore the green areas in the federal capital and turn it into an encroachment-free city.

The minister said the federal cabinet has also approved 15 percent special allowance for armed forces to bring their salaries at par with civilians.

The minister stated that armed forces salary remained frozen during the last two years, while the civil side allowance was allowed, adding that the government has decided to allow a 15 percent special allowance to the armed forces to bring their salary at par with the civil side. He said that Rangers and FC would also be included.

The federal cabinet has approved a JIT for a transparent inquiry into the cases of opposition leader in Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Shaikh.

The federal cabinet has decided to maintain ban on Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan in the light of recommendations of a committee constituted on this issue, and in the next phase, the ECP would be approached to initiate the process for withdrawal of allocated election symbol to the party.

The meeting gave its approval to the appointment of chief executive officer of IESCO; managing director (MD) PPIB has been given additional charge of AEDB CEO.

While replying to a question regarding Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections, the minister said that both the PPP and the PML-N have apparently lost the hope since PPP has only 8 to 9 seats and Bilawal Bhutto has gone to the US while Maryam Nawaz has already said she will not go to Kashmir for election campaign.

Replying to a question regarding the Durand Line, the minister said Pakistan is supporting peace and the role has been acknowledged by the world now.

It is very easy to criticise the efforts but we do not want to indulge in any kind of conflict situation and thus, we are in contact with all the stakeholders for peace, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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