Record funds given to provinces: PM

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Cabinet meeting approves ad hoc relief in salaries; Bans display of automatic weapons
Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

A federal cabinet session held under Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday discussed the security situation in the country and ongoing development projects.
As per the agenda of the meeting, the prime minister approved ad hoc relief for the prime minister and federal and state ministers as suggested by the finance ministry.
An ad hoc relief of 10 percent increase in the basic salaries of the chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate, parliamentary secretaries and MNAs has been approved.
The addition in the PM’s salary will be of Rs10,728, moreover, every federal minister and state minister will be given an additional Rs20,000 and Rs18,000, respectively.
The meeting also decided to ban Arms licensing Regime and disallowed display of automatic weapons. The meeting decided that a 90-day grace period be given to all licence holders of Prohibited Weapons for registration with NADRA.
The Secretary Interior briefed the Cabinet on laws relating to weapons licencing. The prime minister constituted Committee chaired by himself with Interior Minister, Minister CADD, Ministry of State Information and Broadcasting and National Security Advisor as members to collate proposals of Cabinet members put forward on Tuesday and bring the agenda item again.
“Interior Ministry will revalidate data regarding licences issued” said PM. The committee will submit its report to the premier in the next cabinet session.
The meeting also approved initiation of Negotiation on Inter-Government Agreement between Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources, Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and National Development & Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China for Supply of POL Products and Liquefied Natural Gas, Petroleum Division
Ratification of Agreement between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect of Taxes on Income.
Khakan said that record funds have been disbursed to the federating units under the PML-N government
Abbasi apprised the cabinet about his recent visit to Karachi, during which he announced Rs25 billion for Karachi and Rs5 billion for Hyderabad under a comprehensive package to be implemented by the federal government under the policy and administrative supervision of Governor Sindh with fixed timelines and fixed costs.
“Under the said package, a hospital and a medical college will be established in Karachi. The Green Line Metro project will be extended to other areas while additional resources would be provided for new water projects,” the premier said.
Abbasi additionally said that 50 fire tenders would be provided for Karachi Metropolitan Corporation while a series of underpasses and bridges would be constructed to reduce the traffic mess in the port city.
About the Hyderabad package, the prime minister said one university and one medical college would be established in Hyderabad while an additional grant would be provided for Hyderabad Municipal Corporation besides upgradation of infrastructure of all industrial states.
The prime minister also informed his cabinet about the law and order meeting he chaired during his visit in the wake of a recent surge in street crimes in the port city.
The provincial government has been asked to play it’s due role in the development work in the province in general and Karachi in particular. He reaffirmed all out support to the provincial government from the federal government in the development and ensuring peace and security in Sindh.
The prime minister also apprised the meeting about the recent presentations given to him about WAPDA and NHA that lasted for several hours but remained incomplete due to paucity of time. Khakan said that so much development work and energy initiatives have been taken under the PML-N government that were difficult to summarize in derailed presentations.
The Prime Minister informed the cabinet that these initiative of national importance started by the PML-N government were unmatched if compared with those planned from 1999 to 2008.
The Prime Minister also directed to hold Cabinet meeting every Tuesday.

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