-Health workers succumbed to COVID-19 in line of duty given Shuhada package
-Inquiry Commission probing Wheat, Sugar crises gets 3-week extension for forensic report
-Export of food, edible items banned
By Uzma Zafar
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, approved the Assistance Package for COVID-19 pandemic related healthcare workers.
Any healthcare worker, who dies while performing duties related to COVID-19 shall be entitled to the same package as is applicable to the government servants in cases of security-related deaths contained in the Shuhadaa Package. It will be applicable in the domain of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
The prime minister directed to ban the export of all edible items, which were consumed by the common man, in the wake of current situation. The decision would be reviewed after two weeks, a PM Office press release said.
The cabinet approved the request of the Inquiry Commission, probing into increase in sugar prices, to extend the time for submission of the report by three weeks.
The prime minister, in his remarks, said the government had planned to offer state-owned land located in major cities to the overseas Pakistanis in order to generate much need financial resources.
He also directed all the ministries to expedite setting up of think-tanks comprising area experts and professionals in the ministries in order to bring about qualitative improvement in their overall performance and output.
The cabinet ratified the decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee taken in its meetings held on April 22 and 27.
While approving Rs 75 billion relief package, in the first phase for the labour, the prime minister directed his Special Assistant for Social Welfare and Minister for Industries to devise a comprehensive mechanism for providing relief to the labourers.
The cabinet ratified the recommendations of the CCLC (Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases) made in its meeting on April 27.
Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafiz Shaikh briefed the cabinet about the progress made in regulating the affairs of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP).
The cabinet approved the appointment of Mrs Shaista Bano Gillani as acting Chairperson of CPP.
It approved, in principle, “Netting of Financial Contracts Bill, 2020” to remove any uncertainty in enforcing the netting rights in case of a termination event, bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, limit the power of the liquidators to prevent any cherry picking of qualified financial contracts/transactions, which fall under the ambit of netting provisions, ad allow financial collateral arrangements under such netting rights.
Once the law is enforced the qualified financial contracts will always be settled on the basis of “netting” in the presence of the netting arrangement. The cabinet approved a proposal to notify that all the companies supplying electricity or gas through distribution or transmission line be members of a Credit Bureau and to furnish information in accordance with the Credit Bureau Act, 2015. While approving allocation for a grant-in-aid from the Federal Government for the journalists and journalistic bodies, especially press clubs, the cabinet tasked Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz and Special Assistant to PM for Information Lt. Gen. (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa to finalize procedure / standard operating procedures for disbursement of the grant to the deserving journalists and journalistic bodies.
The cabinet approved the restructuring of the Board of Directors of Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO). Aftab Hussain (Sindh), Abdul Hadi Shah (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), and Ms Bushra Naz Malik (Punjab/ Women Representative) were approved as members on the PARCO Board. It also approved the nomination of director against the casual vacancies of the Board of Directors of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, and Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority.
The cabinet approved the modalities for the export of chloroquine by importers in possession of raw material.
Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza briefed the cabinet about the latest situation of COVID-19. The federal cabinet on Tuesday gave three weeks more time to Sugar Forensic Commission (SFC) to compile its detailed forensic report on the sugar and wheat scandal, media reported citing sources. The approval was given in a federal cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, here in Islamabad.
The commission tasked with the forensic examination of the wheat, sugar inquiry report had sought three weeks’ time for submission of the thorough report.
Moreover, the federal cabinet also approved the Rs75 billion package for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and unemployed laborers.
Under the approved ‘Chota Karobar Imdadi Package’ package, the federal government will pay the electricity bills for small businesses for the months of May, June and July.
The cabinet also approved the financial package for journalists infected with the novel coronavirus. The prime minister has tasked Information Minister Shibli Faraz and Special Assistant for Information Asim Saleem Bajwa to prepare a strategy for distribution of aid.