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Imran Khan says he and cabinet stand with Farogh Naseem

By Our Correspondent
February 29, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday lauded the performance of Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Farogh Naseem and assured him that he along with the entire cabinet stood with him.

Farogh Naseem called on the prime minister here. “The entire cabinet stands with you. I appreciate your performance as a law minister,” Imran told Farogh Naseem. Matters pertaining to important legal affairs were also discussed in the meeting.

Barrister Farogh Naseem on February 24 refuted rumors of his resignation and opposition to the appointment of the newly-appointed Attorney General Khalid Javed. “Neither am I resigning from my post as law minister nor I have any reservations about the appointment of Khalid Javed,” he said.

Naseem said he had brotherly relations with Khalid Javed as their fathers had a years-long relationship. “Those who say that I have objected to Khalid Javed’s appointment are basically raising questions on their credibility,” he said.

Attorney General Khalid Javed also seconded his remarks and said he had a very kind relationship with Farogh Naseem’s father, as he always defended him when questions were raised against him. Farogh also apologised to the former attorney general for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan and said he considered him as a big brother.

“I withdraw all my remarks against Anwar Mansoor,” he added. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday chaired a high-level meeting to review the impact of subsidies being given by various government departments to the low-income and weak segments of the society.

The prime minister categorically said the government would not let the burden of corruption and administrative irregularities and negligence in the state institutions pass on to the masses. The prime minister asked the Minister for Energy Omar Ayub to pay attention to busting the major power thieves and taking action against the profiteers and cartels.

He expressed satisfaction over the success of the staff level agreement with the IMF and said during the current financial year saving masses from a mini-budget was an important success of the government and a manifestation of the Fund’s confidence in the government’s economic policies.

Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant on Social Protection Dr. Sania Nishtar, SBP Governor Syed Reza Baqir, Secretary Finance and other senior officials attended the meeting.

The meeting was told that Rs251 billion subsidy was being given in the energy sector, while Rs162 billion had been earmarked for the current financial year for the power consumers using less than 300 units, Rs8.5 billion for the agriculture tube-wells in Balochistan, Rs18 billion for the merged districts, Rs25 billion for K-Electric, Rs3 billion for AJK, Rs10 billion for the industrial sector and Rs24 billion for supply of gas.

Moreover, in order to keep the prices of wheat and flour under control, billions of rupees were being given by the government including Rs5 billion for ensuring strategic reserves, Rs8 billion in terms of arrears for Gilgit-Baltistan with reference to wheat, Rs2.5 billion for Ramzan Package at the utility stores, Rs21 billion subsidy for the Prime Minister Relief Package and Rs6 billion for the Gilgit-Baltistan wheat package.

The details of Rs192 billion social safety programme Ehsaas and different sectors under the programme, including Kafalat, Waseela-e-Taleem and interest-free loans.

The forum was told that the basic aim of this subsidy was to provide relief to the people, particularly the weak and low-income groups, promotion of industries and access to facilities of higher education to people.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said the aim of provision of subsidies was to provide relief to the weak segments of the society. However, he emphasized that in addition to the provision of subsidies, it should be ensured that these were beneficial to the persons concerned.