APP48-30 ISLAMABAD: April 30 - Special Assistant to PM for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan along with Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda addressing a joint press conference at PID Media Centre. APP photo by Saeed-ul-Mulk

ISLAMABAD, Apr 30 (APP):The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday decided to observe the office timings during
holy month of Ramazan from 10 am to 4 pm to ensure maximum relief to the
faithfuls, observing fast without compromising their productivity and a special Ramazan package would also be announced in next few days.
Addressing a press conference along with Minister of Water Resources
Faisal Vawda, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said a special committee has been assigned the task to
prepare a special Ramazan package to provide maximum relief to the masses
during the holy month.
She said the committee will also make sure that no load-shedding was
carried out during the holy month.
About proposed summary for increase in petroleum prices, she said that
the Cabinet has delayed the decision to hike the prices of petroleum products.
The Prime Minister directed to send this recommendation from Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to Economic Coordination Council (ECC) to
review the same in order to pass minimum burden to the people, she
added.
She said OGRA had recommended to increase the prices of petroleum
products by Rs 14 per litre but the Prime Minster directed that it should be
discussed in the ECC again and efforts be made to give maximum relief to
the masses.
She said that when the PTI came to power, prices of crude oil per barrel
were about 47 to 53 Dollar but now it has crossed $ 77 per barrel. She said
that from May 1, no change would be done in petroleum prices and its decision
would be made after ECC recommendations.
Dr Firdous said the Federal Cabinet discussed in detail five legislative
bills that will help resolve people’s problems as part of people-friendly agenda
of PTI government.
Highlighting main features, she said Enforcement of Women Property Rights
bill will ensure that women get their due share in inheritance. Amendments in Code
of Civil Procedure will help decide the civil cases swiftly whereas the Succession Certificates will now be issued by NADRA and heirs would get these certificates within a fortnight, saving their time and ensuring hassle-free procedure, she added.
Firdous Ashiq Awan said Whistle Blower Protection bill will also be introduced
shortly to provide protection to whistleblowers regarding corruption in specific public institutions.
She said that it would provide 20 per cent incentive to the persons who would inform about corruption, abuse of authority and misuse of power.
She said an Anti-Corporal Punishment bill will also be tabled soon in the parliament to discourage the physical punishment and abuse at schools
while Zainab Alert bill will also be introduced to stop any child abuse.
To a question, she said that these were public welfare bills and expressed
the optimism that opposition would support the government in their passage
from National Assembly as well as Senate. However, if the Opposition decided
to oppose them, they would be exposed before the general public, she added.
Firdous Ashiq Awan said the Cabinet was taken into confidence regarding
the proposed local government system in Punjab that will be on the pattern of
the model, already successfully implemented in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
She said the new local government system will devolve the powers at
the grassroots level and empower local people.
The Cabinet, she said congratulated Prime Minister Imran Khan on his
successful China visit and fully endorsed the important agreements and
MOUs, signed on socio-economic development, free trade and agriculture.
She said that Cabinet expressed the confidence that their positive
impact would eventually ensure relief to the common man.
She said that Sehat Insaf Card would be provided to all families of
erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Area people and their distribution
was already underway in all districts on a daily basis, and so far 39,000
families have received these cards.
She said that the Cabinet also discussed the steps taken so far
for promotion of tourism sector in the country and transform it into a
major industry.
She said that those nations, which had made rapid progress,
formulated tourist-friendly policies and under Prime Minister’s vision,
Pakistan had also opened up its policies to make Pakistan a hub of
tourism.
It would also boost hospitality, food and transport industries and
create tens of thousands of jobs for youth, he added.
She congratulated Water and Power Minister Faisal Vawda for
upcoming groundbreaking of Mohmand Dam on May 2. She said that
politicians make planning for few years to cash for next elections but
Imran Kahn has planned for the benefit and welfare of next
generation.
She said that the Cabinet also decided to hold audit of the 1300
billion rupees circular debt in order to determine who was responsible
for this increase, and the facts will be presented in next Cabinet
meeting.
Firdous Ashiq Awan said the previous Punjab government had left
a huge deficit while it left debt of Rs 100 billion, besides the bounced
cheques worth Rs 80 billion. However, due to good governance and
austerity measures taken by the incumbent government, a saving of
Rs 100 billion has been made at the federal level.
She said the PM directed to ensure that austerity steps were
implemented at both federal and provincial levels.
The Special Assistant to PM informed the media the Cabinet was
also taken into confidence on various initiatives taken by Task Force
on Institutional Reforms in various institutions.

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