Provinces directed to form finance commissions Transparency to be ensured in Senate elections: Shibli

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Staff Reporter

Islamabad

The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday issued directives to the provincial governments for the constitution of provincial finance commissions to ensure equitable distribution of development funds among various areas of the provinces in order to bring the less-developed ones at par with the developed.
Briefing newsmen here about the decisions taken in the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar would supervise the matters pertaining to the Provincial Finance Commission in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
He said generally chief ministers and influential provincial ministers utilized development funds in their own constituencies, which created a sense of deprivation among the people of other areas. Under the Provincial Finance Commission, every district would get its share of development funds under a formula.
He said that the cabinet directed the missions abroad to take steps for the release of some 11,376 Pakistanis jailed in various countries. The prime minister directed that legal assistance should be provided to the prisoners and the missions should strive for their early repatriation to Pakistan if any relief was possible for them due to the coronavirus.
The minister said the prime minister expressed his determination to ensure transparency in the Senate elections. Questions were raised on the transparency and fairness of Senate election in the recent past.
Shibli Faraz said the appointment of heads of various government institutions was a big challenge as no proper system had been evolved for the purpose in the past where irregularities were committed in such nominations. The prime minister, he said, wanted a system be in place to nominate suitable persons for the key posts. Dr Ishrat Hussain committee was asked to make a comprehensive plan and introduce a transparent system for such nominations on fast-track basis, he added. He said it was told that the cabinet of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government had so far held 93 meetings, in which a total of 1,759 decisions were made, with 1,579 of them implemented, 46 were in the process of implementation and 28 were facing delay. The cabinet discussed the issue of delay and various suggestions were given to ensure implementation of the delayed decisions. On the issue of healthcare, he said as the government had limited resources, joint ventures with the private sector were proposed to build hospitals on the state land to improve the infrastructure. The cabinet also discussed the proposal to set up Hajj Fund and steps would be taken to ensure that no institution would spend pension funds for any other purpose. For the Hajj Fund, he added, the Malaysian model would be followed after removing legal hurdles in its establishment. The cabinet was also briefed on the proposal to provide solar stoves to the people in northern Pakistan to prevent deforestation in the region. The cabinet decided to discuss the gas tariff and K-Electric issues in next meeting.