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Cabinet decides to abolish budgetary allocations for entertainment, gifts

Cabinet decides to abolish budgetary allocations for entertainment, gifts

ISLAMABAD: Federal Cabinet on Tuesday decided to abolish budgetary allocations for all ministries and divisions meant for entertainment and gifts with an aim to ensure judicious utilization of public money for welfare of the common man.

“There were some provisions in ministries and divisions, under which funds were allocated for ‘chai and pani’ (tea and water). The cabinet has formally abolished these provisions today. So now there will be no entertainment and gift funds there,” Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said while briefing media on the federal cabinet meeting.

She said the cabinet also decided to end the culture of additional charge in all the ministries and divisions within next three months as such posts would be filled properly. No summary for approval of additional charge would be presented in the cabinet in future, she added.

The SAPM said the cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, deliberated on 16 agenda items and most important among them was ensuring improved supply of electricity to consumers during the holy month of Ramazan especially at Sehr and Iftar hours. She said the cabinet ratified the decisions of previous meeting of Economic Coordination Committee.

Firdous Ashiq Awan said the cabinet was briefed by Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood regarding initiatives to bring 30,000 madaris into national mainstream.

She said wrong perception was made in media that these Madaris would be under the Ministry of Education. Rather, these would be linked with the ministry but work independently.

She said the education minister apprised the cabinet that one window registration of these Madaris and monitoring of their funds were important for their mainstreaming.

She said the ministry of education would play the role of a facilitator to the madaris, adding that modern education was the right of the every children studying at the madaris. “We wanted to provide modern and quality education to them as they are also our children” she added.

Firdous Ashiq Awan said the students would also be taught about use of social media so that they could be brought out from isolation.

 

As per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the SAPM said a uniformed curriculum would be introduced in all schools and Madaris. While, Ministry of Education would also assist the foreign students studying in these Madaris, she added.

 

In addition, she said, vocational training would be imparted to Madressah student for their capacity building so that they could be more useful member of the society after passing their graduation. The SAPM said the cabinet also ratified agreement on technical cooperation between Pakistan and Brazil, besides it approved the annual report of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) that would be presented in the Parliament. She said the cabinet was also informed about the steps taken by the Ministry of Health to reduce the prices of medicines.

Firdous Ashiq Awan said the cabinet had decided to renew the licences of cellular companies worth $449 million.  She said that the cabinet had also decided to establish Pakistan China Engineering University at Prime Minister House. She said that China would provide about Rs 400 billion for the university.

She said that cabinet had also decided to reactivate Pakistan Steel Mills through public private partnership.   The SAPM expressed confidence that the next federal budget would be in line with the public expectations and all allied parties would be taken into confidence before presenting the fiscal budget in the parliament.

Commenting on PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif’s return to jail, she said it was unfortunate that a convicted person was going back to jail with such pump and show by his party.

She said in civilized societies convicted persons were not glorified, adding that glorifying the convicted person tantamount to committing the same crime. “Nawaz Sharif is a convicted and not an accused.”

The SAPM said convicted Nawaz Sharif was violating all rules and laws of the jail manual. Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan said that government had set the target to get rid of the power circular debt by December 2020.

He said during 2017-18, the circular debt had increased by Rs 450 billion which would be brought down to Rs 293 billion during the current year and Rs 96 billion by 2019-20. However, the circular debt would be completely overcome by end of next year.

He said the prime minister was told that a 25-year plan had been finalized to bridge the ever increasing gap between demand and supply of electricity. Moreover, a fresh policy for power production through alternate energy resources had been formulated, he added.