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Cabinet mulls PR, PSM rejig

Gilani chairs meeting, reviews progress on decisions
Meeting also accords approval to pacts with China
Special Correspondent/ Agencies
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet which met here Wednesday reviewed the status of implementation of Cabinet decisions pertaining to food and agriculture, foreign affairs, health, housing and works and industries and Production decisions. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani presided the meeting.
During the meeting Cabinet deliberated upon the declining performance of Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Steels Mills and other government’s institutions including Pepco and PM directed that restructuring plan of these departments be presented in the next Cabinet meeting.
These details were revealed by federal minister for information and broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira while briefing journalists about the Federal Cabinet meeting.
Kaira said that while reviewing the status of pending decisions the Prime Minister directed that the process of consultation among various ministries or with foreign countries be expedited to ensure early implementation.
All the ministers, he said, should hold monthly meetings to monitor the progress of decisions and MoUs signed with different countries in order to identify the impediments if any.
Kaira said that the cabinet ratified Saarc Agreement on Trade in Services.
It also accorded approval to the signing of inter-government framework Agreement with China regarding provision of concessional loan for PAKSAT – IR Ground Control Segment Project.
He said Cabinet approved the ratification of additional protocol of the Agreement on simplification of visa procedure for businessmen on ECO member states.
It also approved in-principle to negotiate and sign loan offered by the Government of Japan through agreement on Flood Disaster Emergency Import Support Loan, he said.
He said that the Cabinet approved the proposed amendments in the original Ordinance of National University of Modern Languages Islamabad.  It also accorded approval for signing of two agreements on Economics and Technical Cooperation for Grant Assistance of two hundred million dollars.
Kaira said that the cabinet approved the instrument of ratification of agreement between the Governments of Pakistan and Indonesia and Pakistan and Sri Lanka and Tunisia, on the abolition of visa for diplomatic and official passport holders.
Information Minister said that a detailed presentation was made to the cabinet on the Ministry of Railways, its current affairs immediate needs and future plans.
The Cabinet agreed to support Pakistan Railways in meeting its immediate needs to keep it running till the finalization and implementation of restructuring plan, he said.
He said that the Cabinet approved a financial package of eleven point one Billion rupees for repairs and rehabilitation of 145 locomotives, improvement of tracks, maintenance of coaches and strategic reserves to buy oil. Kaira said that the Cabinet also agreed to enhance over draft facility to Pakistan Railways by the State Bank to the tune of Ten Billion rupees which would be converted into long term loan. He said that the Cabinet was apprised that the relief given to Pakistan Steels in June this year, the production of Pakistan Steel Mills has been raised from 18 to 48 per cent and the losses have been reduced substantially.
Regarding GST Reform, the Minister said that there was need to make legislation to eradicate corruption and reform the tax system. He said tax reforms were in the interest of the country and the economy was being restructured. To a question regarding blasphemy, he said it was a baseless movement as no Muslim can think to compromise on this issue.


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