ISLAMABAD, Sep 15 (APP):The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday directed the city managements to step up their efforts for formulating master plans to effectively discourage illegal construction and haphazard expansion in major urban areas across the country.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz apprised the media about decisions of the Federal Cabinet, which met with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair. Reviewing initiatives of the cities management for urban planning, the cabinet underlined the need for early formulation of master plans to ensure planned construction in major cities.

He said Federal Cabinet discussed 16-point agenda and expressed satisfaction over the resumption of educational activities of over 2.5 million children in the country, following the decline in COVID-19 cases. It called upon the students, school managements to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines for containing the spread of deadly virus at premises, he added.

The Cabinet accorded approval to amendments in Electoral Act, making it obligatory for the elected members to take oath of office within 60 days after the elections.

He quoted the examples of Senator elect Ishaq Dar and MPA-elect Chaudhry Nisar who had not yet taken oath of their office despite passage of two years, depriving the people of their right to representation.

He said the Federal Cabinet had decided not to regularize illegal construction of a prison on a green area in H-16 in Islamabad as PTI government’s philosophy was to preserve the green areas. The jail structure will be demolished and prison will be constructed on alternative place in the Federal Capital, he added.

He said the government will conduct inquiry against the responsible officers who allowed the construction of prison at green area. Responding to a question, he said that relevant officers of Capital Development Authoirty (CDA) would be held responsible for the illegal construction of kiosks at green belts and added CDA must ensure strict monitoring to avoid the construction of illegal structures.

He said the focus of the government was to secure pension and facilitate of pensioners. Negotiations were underway with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to resolve issues of the sector, he added.To another question, he said exemplary punishment should be awarded to culprits  of Motorway incident.

Responding to yet another question, he said former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should return home and surrender himself before the law of the land and added Hamza Shahbaz also wanted to be admitted in hospital.

He criticized PML-N for not awarding punishment to the accused of motorway incident, who had committed heinous crime of rape in 2013 during Shahbaz Sharif tenure.  Shahbaz had failed to manage exemplary punishment for the culprit at that time which emboldened him to commit crime again, he added.