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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar, on Wednesday, expressed optimism regarding Pakistan’s diplomatic and economic endeavours as the Saudi delegation showed an interest in investment in different sectors.

While highlighting the keen interest of friendly nations in Pakistan’s bilateral relations, attributing it to the country’s success, he said there were encouraging reports of economic improvement in international media, crediting the hard work of the prime minister and his team for the positive developments in this sphere.

The successful outcome of the prime minister’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia was underscored, with Tarar highlighting the subsequent high-level visit of a Saudi delegation to Pakistan. Discussions under the leadership of the Saudi foreign minister cantered around potential investments in minerals, tourism, and other key sectors.

Furthermore, Tarar revealed that a delegation from the private sector of Saudi Arabia is poised to visit Pakistan shortly, signalling promising avenues for economic cooperation between the two countries.

He said a high-level Saudi delegation will visit Pakistan in the coming months to conclude the agreements. A Saudi delegation from the private sector is also visiting Pakistan very soon, and their investments and partnerships with the Pakistani private sector will have a positive impact on the economy, he maintained.

In the upcoming days, the information minister announced the anticipation of delegation-level visits from allied nations. He highlighted that global financial institutions and independent analysts are acknowledging the government’s efforts towards economic advancement. Assuring that the fruits of this progress will trickle down to the general populace.

Talking about agriculture, Tarar announced expectations of a bumper crop of wheat in the country. To facilitate farmers, the target of wheat procurement will be augmented, with plans underway to correspond with all four provinces on this matter.

Briefing media persons about the decisions taken in the cabinet meeting, the minister said a letter would be sent to the four provinces to enhance their wheat procurement targets and set a good price for the commodity.

This letter will be written by the Ministry of National Food Security, Wednesday.

The information minister was confident that this decision would bring prosperity to the lives of farmers. He pointed out that the country has abundant stocks of wheat and a bumper wheat crop is expected this year. He said this situation will have a positive impact on the rural economy.

In a significant development, the federal cabinet has given the green light to various pivotal initiatives aimed at advancing education, fostering economic growth, and enhancing labour relations.

The establishment of the Institute of Modern Sciences in Wah Cantonment received approval during the recent Cabinet session. Additionally, the prime minister’s directives to streamline the process for establishing new universities and higher education institutions led to the formation of a committee, headed by the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training.

Furthermore, the Cabinet endorsed the Federal Public-Private Policy of Pakistan for the years 2023-2028. Emphasising the potential of public-private partnerships in accelerating economic growth, the Prime Minister urged all ministries to submit proposals under this framework.

In a move to strengthen labour relations, inspections, and professional safety and health, the Cabinet approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Qatar’s Ministry of Labour and Pakistan’s Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development. Currently, there are three hundred thousand Pakistanis employed in Qatar, contributing 850 million rupees in foreign exchange remittances to Pakistan.

Celebrations for Eid al-Fitr were enhanced by messages of felicitation from various international leaders, highlighting Pakistan’s standing on the global stage.

In domestic affairs, Tarar noted the unsuccessful gathering of the opposition in Balochistan and criticized the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership for its conflicting statements. Despite this, Tarar extended an invitation to the opposition to collaborate for the country’s progress.

The minister also shed light on corruption cases within the PTI, revealing that leaders of the party are serving jail time. He lamented the party’s inability to foster unity within its ranks, pointing to challenges in achieving cohesive governance.

The ECC also ratified/ approved 4th April 2024 decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet that allowed Rs 275 billion cash credit limit (CCL) to the provinces for procurement of wheat by PASSCO, Sindh, and the government of Balochistan.

The premier directed to form a committee to be headed by the Minister of Federal Education and Technical Training that would further improve the procedure for setting up new universities and higher education institutions.

The minister for petroleum, the minister of state for information technology and the attorney general would be members of the committee.

The federal cabinet, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, allowed former ambassador Manzoor Ahmad Chaudhry to receive the Commandeur de I’Ordre National Award from the government of Cote d’Ivoire in recognition of his services.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Law and Justice, the federal cabinet appointed Accountability Court-VIII Karachi as Special Court (Customs, Taxation and Anti-Smuggling-II), Accountability Court-III Hyderabad as Banking Court Mirpurkhas as well as Accountability Court-III Sukkur as Banking Court Ghotki, and Accountability Court-IV Sukkur as Banking Court Shaheed Benazirabad.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Law and Justice, the federal cabinet gave its approval to authorise the Special Court-II (Anti-Terrorism) to hear cases reported under the Official Secrets Act, 1923. Special Court II was assigned these powers as the judge of Special Court-I was gone on leave.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, the federal cabinet has granted approval for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Labour, Qatar and the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis with respect to labour relations, labour inspections, occupational safety and health.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Planning and Special Initiatives, the federal cabinet has approved the Federal Public Private Policy of Pakistan 2023-2028.

Shehbaz Sharif directed all the ministries to submit their proposals regarding Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Speaking to the participants, the prime minister acknowledged ministers, secretaries and officials for making the visit of Saudi delegation a success and added that the visit would usher in a new era of economic ties between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

He added that Pakistan is grateful to Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, because of his special interest, the Saudi delegation visited Pakistan after his recent visit to the Kingdom. The premier continued that the Saudi delegation had been impressed by the preparation of the Pakistani side and this was acknowledged by the Saudi foreign minister.

The prime minister was confident that as a result of the visit of the Saudi delegation, billions of dollars in investment would be made in Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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