ISLAMABAD, Nov 3 (APP):Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain Tuesday apprised the Federal Cabinet that major reforms had been introduced in different important government entities, including Federal Board of Revenue, Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan International Airlines, State Bank, Civil Aviation Authority and Pakistan Railways under the recommendation of Task Force.
The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan that considered a number of important agenda items, PM Office Media Wing in a press release said.
Dr Ishrat Hussain, while giving briefing over the working of Task Force on Austerity and Re-structuring, further said it had held 16 meetings and about 50 consultative sessions since its inception on September 5, 2018.
Eligible, competent and expert people were appointed in the government entities, which had increased their performance, he added.
Under the austerity drive, he said, unnecessary expenditures had been curtailed, besides reduction in the purchase of vehicles, machinery and expenditures on their maintenance were ensured. The government offices housed in the rented buildings had been shifted to state-owned ones, which also helped in substantial savings.
The meeting also comprehensively considered elections reforms. Prime Minister Imran Khan, as always, stressed upon holding of transparent elections.
The cabinet also approved grant of powers to the Departmental Working Committee to sanction upto Rs 2 billion for the planning projects.
A mechanism for making the sanctioning process of development projects easier and expeditious was also devised. The Finance Division ensured a process for timely release of funds for the development projects.
It also accorded its approval for appointment and transfer of board of directors in Postal Life Insurance Company Limited under SECP rules.
To expedite disposal of the telecom sector related cases pending in different high courts and to reduce backlog, the cabinet also approved establishment of Telecom Appellant Tribunal under the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-Organization) Act 1996.
The cabinet also approved an energy support package for the industries under the recommendations of its Economic Coordination Committee and Committee for Energy, and directed for sending of the matter to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) for formulation of tariff.
The prime minister observed that the package would help in enhancement of the industry and increase investment, besides generating employment opportunities and strengthening of the economy.
PM’s Special Assistant Dr Faisal Sultan briefed the meeting about the latest situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prime minister said precautions were must considering the situation and hinted that the government would not shut business activities, so that the wheels of economy could move on.
The cabinet also approved the Jammu and Kashmir state property budget, which was collected from the rented out urban and agricultural properties owned by the Jammu and Kashmir government inside Pakistan.
It also granted powers of presiding officers to senior civil judges, and additional district and sessions judges in Gilgit Baltistan under Sector 44 of the PECA 2016.
The cabinet approved re-organization of Board of Directors of Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO) and also approved appointment of Farah Agha in the board. Such a decision was part of that policy under which the boards of government companies were being made autonomous and free from political influence.
The meeting also ratified decisions of its Economic Coordination Committee during its meetings held on October 21 and 29, 2020.