ISLAMABAD, Oct 20 (APP):The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday, while expressing serious concern over rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, called for putting in place extreme precautionary measures to avert the risk of second wave.
The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan noted with concern that the number of positive COVID-19 cases during the current month had increased from July and August to two percent while the death toll rose to the double digit.
It advised the nation to adopt precautionary measures, including use of face masks and other standard operating procedures (SOPs) for avoiding the second wave of pandemic.
The government’s effective strategy to cope with the situation in the wake of corona pandemic, that had gained worldwide acknowledgment, was also discussed in the meeting.
On behalf of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) office-holders, Federal Minister for Information Technology Syed Amin ul Haq presented a donation cheque of Rs 1,033,933 to the prime minister for his COVID Relief Fund.
On the wheat situation, the cabinet expressed its commitment to ensure availability of ample quantity of the commodity across the country, besides controlling its prices.
The cabinet was briefed on the import and local procurement of wheat by the public sector.
It was informed that the Punjab government was releasing some 17,000 to 20,000 tonnes wheat per day, which would be increased up to 25,000 tonnes. The Sindh government would be releasing 85,000 tonnes of wheat from October 21 to 31.
The meeting was apprised that the Punjab government had given assurance about the availability of wheat at Utility Stores, while the Sindh government would ensure its supply to the flour mills as per their demand.
The prime minister directed to submit a detailed report on wheat and sugar in the next cabinet meeting, having an in-depth analysis of their prices and requirements.
The meeting was briefed on the reserves, import and prices of sugar. It was informed that the process of physical verification had been initiated in line with the Wajid Zia report.
The cabinet was told that an average 0.2 to 0.25 million tons produce of sugar was recorded and the decision for its import was also taken to meet future needs. In the next few days, around 0.2 million tons sugar would reach the country.
It was apprised that the sugarcane crushing season would start in next 20 days, and in case of delay, a fine of Rs 0.5 million would be levied on the millers. The Punjab government, in that regard, had already made an amendment in the law.
The cabinet gave approval to setting up an ad-hoc management committee of Gun and Country Club.
It approved keeping the Sindh Infrastructure Development Company (Limited) under the purview of Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, and also gave approval to the extension of the additional charge of Chief Executive.
The cabinet endorsed the decisions of Cabinet Committee for Institutional Reforms of October 7, the Economic Coordination Committee of October 14 and 15, Cabinet Committee for Legislation of October 19 and Cabinet Committee for Energy regarding supply of furnace oil of October 15.
The cabinet also approved 98 new licenses of Overseas Employment Promoters, withdrawal of 18 licenses and transfer of 10 licenses, with amendment in the jurisdiction of five licenses.