ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet Wednesday decided to refer the list of 172 people, whose names were placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), to a review committee of the Interior Ministry for formal scrutiny and recommendations.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain told journalists that the cabinet, which met here with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, took stock of the issue of inclusion of 172 people in the ECL in light of the Supreme Court’s observations and decided to refer it to the ECL Review Committee, working under the Ministry of Interior.
The decision to include or exclude the names in the ECL would be taken according to the recommendations of the committee, which would give a briefing to the cabinet next week, he added.
Fawad said it was a bitter reality of the past that the persons, who could have proved helpful in investigations, escaped from the country in the prime minister’s aeroplane.
The minister said the cabinet also decided to expedite the process of privatization of Haveli Bahadur Shah, Lakhra Coalmine and Services Hotel Lahore, besides divestment of government shares in petroleum companies and K-Electric.
The cabinet also established a land bank committee headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, which would identify 150 prime state properties for use in various public sector projects and submit its report in the next meeting. Some 9,442 kanals unused land had already been identified at the federal level, 56,000 kanals in Punjab and 5,258 kanals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the minister said.
He said the cabinet also accorded approval to three additional posts of judges in the Islamabad High Court to increase the number of its judges to nine, in addition to the chief justice.
The minister said a Poverty Alleviation Coordination Council had been established, which would work under Dr Sania Nishtar to coordinate activities of various institutions at federal and provincial levels related to poverty alleviation.
Fawad said additional customs duty for offshore exploration companies had been abolished to create a more favourable environment for foreign investment in the country. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government wanted to levy tax on the income of foreign companies, and not on their investment, he added.
As regard Karachi, the minister said the people of the city, which was the economic hub of the country, had reposed confidence in the PTI’s leadership by voting for the party. A high powered committee headed by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail had been constituted for utilization of the federal government funds for the development of the metropolis, he added.
The federal government, he said, could not hand over the development funds to the provincial government, which, otherwise would be transferred abroad like the Sindh uplift funds of Rs 2,000 billion.
The minister said the cabinet approved an initial sum of Rs 2.8 billion out of total cost of Rs 5 billion, for the construction of FC Headquarters in south and north zones of Balochistan.
He said the cabinet had asked the provinces to encourage the farmers producing jaggery (Gur) as its export to Afghanistan had picked up after decrease of duty to 2.5 percent .
He said the federal cabinet also approved 23 million euro loan for the Bus Rapid Transport in Peshawar.
The minister said the prime minister took notice of the inflation and price hike of vegetables and fruits, and issued directives to the Statistics Division to give a briefing to the cabinet on sensitive price index.
The Division would collect data of prices of items of daily use in 76 markets and 40 cities, and submit its report to the federal cabinet every week, he added.—APP