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Idea to form NAB body for traders dropped

Top Story

October 15, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet Monday dropped the proposal to form a committee of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for resolving the issue of business community and said the NAB should form its own policy to protect traders and bureaucrats from harassment. The cabinet also approved the appointment of board members under the Health Care Act and the Real Estate Regulatory Authority Ordinance.

Prime Minister Imran Khan during the meeting directed the ministries concerned to take measures to make the prices of essential items stable as well as ensuring their availability in markets for the benefit of common man. He convened a meeting of provincial chief ministers and chief secretaries on Friday next in which measures would be discussed to activate the price control committees at grass roots level.

Briefing media on cabinet decisions here, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Imran Khan directed that strict action will be taken against profiteers and hoarders as it is main responsibility of the government to ensure provision of goods to the people. The prime minister also directed officials to maintain the prices of life-saving medicines. The participants of the meeting were told that a summary was being moved to reduce the prices of 89 medicines.

The prime minister directed that a mechanism should be developed in coordination with provincial Auqaf departments to take steps for land retrieval and its proper use for public service purposes. He said a data bank on these lands should also be prepared.

The cabinet endorsed the decisions of previous meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC). Firdous Ashiq Awan said the cabinet was given various proposals regarding the establishment of Real Estate Regulatory Authority. She said the federal cabinet gave approval to the new Master Plan of Islamabad on immediate basis. For this purpose, professional architects and consultants of international repute will be hired to undertake the process. She said special consideration will be given to environmental challenges while drafting the new Master Plan for the federal capital.

Dr Firdous said the meeting decided to take up Sector G-6 on pilot project basis to introduce reforms and develop it into a modern housing area. The meeting decided that structural plan of high-rise buildings and other infrastructure would also be revised and overlapping of work would be reduced. She said existing Master Plan of Islamabad was made in 1960s and it has not been revised so far. As a result, a mushroom growth and unplanned development was witnessed in different areas of the federal capital, putting a strain on essential services. This unplanned growth also disturbed the beauty of Islamabad.

The cabinet also accorded approval to restructuring of Capital Development Authority (CDA). The Special Assistant said after restructuring, CDA will be transformed into a modern and vibrant development authority to ensure delivery of services to the residents as well as improving the housing sector. The cabinet also approved a policy regarding Langar service of Ehsaas Programme. It was decided that further Langar facilities will be set up on public private partnership basis.

Dr Firdous said the prime minister took the cabinet into confidence regarding his recent visits to China and Iran. In China, he discussed economic, defence, social, business and people to people ties between Pakistan and China with Chinese leadership to enhance bilateral relations and further improve cooperation between the two countries. In addition, China accepted Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) as a controversial issue in the joint press release issued at the conclusion of visit. The prime minister thanked China for taking this principled stand. The cabinet expressed satisfaction on dynamic developments in relations with China.

The prime minister also took the cabinet into confidence regarding his upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia in a bid to mend differences between the brotherly Islamic countries. Dr Firdous said Pakistan's economic and strategic power can increase manifold when the brotherly Muslim countries are united.

The cabinet members were told that the government's Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) has recovered 1,262 acres of land during the past year. The cabinet suspended the matters of six other ordinances the meeting.