Friday September 22, 2023

Provincial status for Gilgit-Baltistan put on hold

November 30, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet Thursday deferred decision on giving Gilgit-Balochistan the status of province and decided to hold further deliberations in this regard.

The cabinet which met here at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair discussed several important issues.

The cabinet was told that a reforms committee was working in the supervision of Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur. It approved Rs20 billion in financial year 2018-19 for the Pak-Afghan border fencing and lighting project.

The cabinet reiterated maintaining strict fiscal discipline in the country for curtailing fiscal deficit and ensuring that the expenditures and revenue remain within the budgeted estimates. The prime minister said no government employee will be sacked.

It was also decided to separate tax policy from revenue administration in line with the PTI manifesto. To this effect, a committee has been constituted to work out legal and technical modalities. The cabinet also discussed in detail the issue of availability of surplus sugar stock and the pending payments of growers. It was decided to refer the matter to the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet for detailed deliberations and proposing a workable solution to address the issue on priority basis. The prime minister reiterated that the interests of sugarcane farmers will be protected while resolving the issue of sugar mills.

The cabinet while considering the financial difficulties of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, especially the issues being faced by the employees in getting their salaries and pensions, decided to grant Rs400 million as Technical Supplementary Grant in order to provide relief to the organization. The cabinet, however, stressed the need for chalking out a comprehensive plan to ensure strict financial discipline and enhancement of revenues for financially sustainability of the organization. It was decided to continue the ongoing campaign against corruption. The cabinet approved reconstitution of a ‘Search Committee’ for appointing the vice-chancellor of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Islamabad.

The committee would be headed by Minister for Human Rights Shirin Mazari.

The cabinet approved appointment of Ms. Ayla Majid, Ghias-ud-Din Ahmed and Hamid Ali Khan as independent directors of Central Power Purchasing Agency (Guarantee) Limited. Appointment of Faisal Ahmed, Pharmacist Drug Testing Laboratory Quetta, as Technical Member-I of Drug Court Balochistan Quetta was approved by the cabinet.

The cabinet ratified the decisions of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet taken during its meeting on 22 November 2018.

The decisions included grant for disbursement of provident fund, gratuity and payroll due to the heirs of deceased employees of Pakistan Steel Mill, natural gas load management during winter 2018-19 and release of public sector’s surplus wheat to the Poultry Association of Pakistan.