Prime Minister presides Cabinet meeting

Islamabad, July 11, 2012 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf presided over meeting of the Federal Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat today;

Secretary water and Power updated the Cabinet on Energy situation in the country. He informed that with the steps taken by the government on the directions of the Prime Minister during the last one month, production of electricity has increased to 13650 MW bringing down the shortfall to 3500 MW. He apprised that with the commissioning of new projects, approximately another 2000 MW of electricity would soon be added to the national grid.

The Cabinet decided that there would be no load shedding at Taraveeh, Sehar and Iftar timings during Ramazan. Ministry of Water and Power will set up an interactive website where public can register their complaints if there is an un-scheduled load shedding during the specified timings. The complaints will be redressed immediately. The Prime Minister directed that equitable load shedding should be ensured throughout the country.

The Cabinet approved Relief Package of Ramazan amounting to Rs 2.5 billion. The subsidy on food items will be extended to the common people through 5700 Utility Stores in Pakistan. The subsidy approved by the Cabinet for Ramadan will include Rs.6 per kg on Atta, Rs.15 on ghee/oil and Rs.10 per kg on Dal Channa, Bason. Dates, Rice Banaspati, Rice Sela and Rice Broken.

The package will provide relief to low income group at the doorstep living in the remote and far flung areas of the country. The Prime Minister also directed Ministry of Industries to open Utility Stores in FATA before the Ramazan starts. The Cabinet also accorded approval to the decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) meeting held on 3rd July, 2012.

The Cabinet in principle approved to increase the number of seats reserved for non-Muslims in Assemblies proportionate to their population. The Cabinet constituted a Committee comprising of Minister for Law, Minister for Interfaith Harmony and Minister for Religious Affairs to submit a comprehensive report to the Cabinet for bringing in a Constitutional amendment in this respect.

The Cabinet meeting reviewed the implementation status of the Cabinet decisions pertaining to Ministries of Communications and Climate Change. The Cabinet was informed that out of ten decisions pertaining to Ministry of Communications, nine have already been implemented. Whereas one decision is under the process of implementation. The percentage of implementation remained 90%.

The Cabinet was further informed that there were thirteen Cabinet decisions pertaining to the Ministry of Climate Change. Out of this, five decisions have already been implemented while eight are in the process of implementation.

Secretary Finance gave presentation on Consumer Price Index to review and discuss the trend of prices of essential commodities in the country. The Cabinet was informed that with the efforts of the government, rate of inflation continue to register a declining trend. He informed that the price of petrol has decreased by 18% and that of diesel by 9%. He further informed that there was an overall 2.7% decrease in the prices of commodities of daily use.

The Prime Minister informed the Cabinet that he has, through Attorney General, received a letter from the Registrar of the Supreme Court asking for government’s position with regard to the decision of the Supreme Court for the implementation of the NRO judgment. The Prime Minister directed the Law Minister to present the opinion of the Law and Justice Ministry. The Law Minister informed the Cabinet that he has received the letter from Prime Minister on 10th July and presented to him on 11th of this month.

The Law Minister informed the Cabinet that he and Secretary Law have recently taken the charge and need some time for thorough study of case to brief the Cabinet and present our view in the Court, Cabinet allowed the Law Ministry to work on it. The Prime Minister directed the Law Minister that response should come on urgent basis.

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