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ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has approved the revival of Railway Estate Development and Marketing Company (REDAMCO) and decided to approve Election Amendment Bill, 2022 for introducing in the National Assembly.

The meeting of the cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also endorsed the decisions taken at the meetings of the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases dated May 19 and 25 May 2022 and approved the Election Amendment Bill, 2022 to introduce the law in the National Assembly besides approval of Chartered Accountants Bye-Laws 1983 and approval Rules, 2022 for appointment of chairman and members in National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC).

On recommendations of the Ministry of Railways, the cabinet approved the revival of REDAMCO and the meeting was informed that it is a state-owned company operating under the Ministry of Railways, which was dissolved by the previous government. The company was working to use the surplus land of Pakistan Railways for profitable activities which led to an increase in the revenue of the Pakistan Railways.

The meeting was further informed that the revenue collected was spent on salaries, pensions and development of Pakistan Railways employees.

Elections (Amendment) Ordinance 2022: Govt dismisses concerns of ECP

The Interior Ministry briefed the cabinet on the enforced disappearances as per the orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and stated that a special cabinet committee on enforced disappearances has been constituted to look into the causes of the disappearances and the search for missing persons.

The cabinet meeting was also informed that in addition, a bill to amend the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860, has been introduced in the National Assembly, which proposes harsher punishments for those involved in enforced disappearances. The amendment bill is currently under consideration in the Senate Standing Committee.

The cabinet members were of the view that the issue of enforced disappearances was constitutionally serious and practical steps needed to be taken.

A permanent solution must be found with all partners.

The prime minister said that enforced disappearances are a serious issue which creates an atmosphere of lawlessness. The cabinet approved the formation of a special committee headed by the law minister, which would include cabinet members from all political parties. The committee will consult with all relevant experts and institutions.

The Cabinet termed the overseas Pakistanis as a valuable asset of the country and stated that it was important to include them in the election process.

However, it stated that the previous government enacted legislation without taking the Election Commission into confidence.

The meeting further stated that the report of the Election Commission regarding electronic voting and granting voting rights to overseas Pakistanis should be considered and electronic voting machines and voting procedures for overseas Pakistanis should first be tested as a pilot project.

The cabinet meeting was of the view that the Election Commission should launch a pilot project for overseas Pakistanis to vote in the by-elections.

A report on the results of the pilot project will be tabled in Parliament, after which it will be decided whether the voting procedure for overseas Pakistanis is workable or not.

The Cabinet, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, approved the cancellation of the appointment of present chairman, Karachi Port Trust, Nadir Mumtaz on deputation and temporary charge of the chairman was assigned to the director general Ports and Shipping and decided that the new chairman will be appointed after the open competition.

The Cabinet has ratified the prime minister’s advice to the president for the appointment of the governor Punjab and discussed in detail the advice given by the prime minister to the president on other issues.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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