ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has assigned ministers to stay in touch with members of the national and provincial assemblies of the ruling party and also contact people with personal ties to them for the upcoming Senate elections.
The prime minister said during a speech at a federal cabinet meeting Wednesday that tickets were awarded based on merit in the Senate elections, because the PTI respects the viewpoints of its workers.
“We want to curb the use of money in Senate elections,” said the prime minister, according to Geo News. He said he would personally handle election matters.
The federal cabinet was informed that all economic activity would be restored from March 1, as coronavirus cases decreased in the country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the government has directed all ministries to ensure a reduction in unnecessary spending to save people’s tax money. The prime minister directs the finance minister to publicly announce all government bodies which have deficits and deficit levels so that people have a thorough knowledge of state affairs. The public must also be kept informed about the progress.
The cabinet, with Imran Khan in chair, noted major national issues, including the economic situation, the corona pandemic, vaccinations, missing persons and cases of child sexual abuse.
By briefing reporters on the cabinet decision and answering their questions, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said the issue of enforced disappearance was raised by Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari. The Cabinet reiterated that the current government strongly believes in complete transparency and rule of law.
Imran Khan directed the minister of law to speed up the lawmaking process in Parliament in this matter. He recalled that he also used to visit sit-ins to families of the disappeared to show solidarity with them.
“Half of the suffering of family members ends when they find out that their lover is still alive and being kept there. So their main concern is whether there are missing people who are still alive or not, ”said the minister. Shibli Faraz said that security problems occur in all countries but there must be a three, six or nine month mechanism, because the first concern of families is to find out if their missing lover is still alive and where he is.
The Cabinet maintains a serious record of incidents of sexual offenses and expresses concern over reports of this and directs the implementation of laws and measures to be taken to prevent such violations.
The prime minister expressed concern over incidents of sexual abuse of children despite the Zainab Warning Act that had been enacted. He issued a directive for the relevant authorities to take action to stop these incidents of sexual crimes against women and children.
The cabinet was briefed on the status of the corona virus and its prevalence levels. The Cabinet was informed that the number and prevalence of corona cases in the country is decreasing. Was informed that the corona vaccine is being administered to front line workers. About 50,000 frontline workers have been vaccinated so far and the process is being accelerated.
The prime minister explored the progress made in granting Pakistanis overseas the right to vote and the installation of an electronic voting machine. The prime minister said that the current government is committed to making the electoral process fully transparent. He directed the Election Reform Committee to identify all administrative steps necessary for the installation of an electronic voting machine in consultation with the president and to set a schedule in this regard. The prime minister said that ensuring full transparency of the electoral process was the top priority of the current government.
The Cabinet honored the laws passed by the current government to give women rights to property and directed that the process of passing a law on the immediate settlement of Pakistani property issues abroad should also be accelerated.
The Cabinet was also briefed on the progress made so far in releasing government land from the occupying mafia. The Cabinet was also briefed on the progress of the Islamabad Metro Bus Project.
The Cabinet approved a 25 percent disparity reduction allowance for 2017 to reduce the pay gap between employees of various federal government departments and to provide assistance to government employees. The increase will take effect from 1st grade to 19th grade and will take effect on 01 March. The Cabinet also decided that provincial governments would be instructed to reduce the salary gap in their departments.
The Cabinet was informed that the time scale promotion was given in grades 1 to 16 in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa pattern. It was advised that ad hoc benefits are being integrated into base salaries from 1 July, the actual benefits of which will be available to retirees.
Speaking about the request for a salary increase, the prime minister said that the fate of government employees is well understood. He said that people across the country have suffered from past mismanagement and the difficult economic situation. He said the coronavirus pandemic was adding to economic woes.
The prime minister said that given the country’s economic hardship, the current government had launched austerity measures and it started from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Cabinet approved the reconstitution of the board of governors of the Pakistan Karachi Institute of Management.
The Cabinet, on the recommendation of the Election Commission, approved the deployment of Pakistani Rangers (Sindh) troops on NA-221 Tharparkar-I during the by-election.
The Cabinet approved the appointment of Javed Qureshi as Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Limited.
Responding to a question, the minister clarified that at the time of the vote not trusting the incumbent Senate Speaker Muhammad Sanjrani, he was the DPR Leader and knew that the chairman had personal relationships with the senators and they voted for him. He added that the PTI government believes in the principle of the continuity of its chairman, because never in history has he been removed like that.
Regarding the increase in prices for staple goods, he gave an example of the various factors behind it, such as when PTI formed a government, there was no governance, there was a very large gap between revenue and expenditure until COVID-19 also occurred.
Shibli said the government will try to have the next general election held using an electronic voting machine and also provide representation to Pakistanis abroad.
Shibli noted that the government is striving for all elections including elections and the Senate to be held in a transparent manner.