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Federal Cabinet has decided to seek guidance of Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding holding the upcoming Senate elections through show of hands.

The meeting was held in Islamabad today with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.

It was decided that a reference in this regard will be filed with the apex court by the Attorney General under article 186 of the constitution.

Moreover, the federal government has also decided to hold Senate elections in February rather than in March.

Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasized that the legal reforms are aimed at only ensuring transparency in the election process. He said we are open for dialogue with all the political parties on the matter.

Later briefing the media persons about the cabinet decisions, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said our aim is to ensure transparent and credible elections of the upper house.

The Information Minister said a bill has also been introduced in the parliament regarding the Senate elections with the aim to check the horse trading. He said it is also in the interest of all political parties so that only those candidates who are nominated by the parties come to the house and that the parties get the seats as per their strength in the electoral college.

A report of inquiry commission into the shortage of petroleum products that hit the country earlier this year was also presented before the cabinet today.

The Information Minister said the Prime Minister has constituted a committee headed by Minister for Planning Asad Umar to fix the responsibility on those behind the crisis. Other members of the committee are Shafqat Mahmood, Shireen Mazari and Azam Swati. The committee will put forward its recommendations in the next cabinet meeting.

The Cabinet also discussed in detail the National Finance Commission and the share given to the provinces under it.

Shibli Faraz said the cabinet has stressed that a mechanism be evolved to ensure transparency and accountability not only in the funds spent by the provinces but also encourage them to raise their own revenues.

The Prime Minister was also informed about the Covid relief fund currently has an amount of 4.866 billion rupees. 1.081 billion rupees have been contributed by the international donors whilst domestic donors have donated 3.805 in the fund. On the directions of the Prime Minister, the federal government has enhanced this amount to 24.43 billion rupees.

The cabinet was informed that disbursement under this fund is being made in the transparent manner. About two million people have been provided with emergency cash through this relief fund.

The Prime Minister said Ehsaas program is the biggest achievement of present government and the international institutions are also recognizing it. He further said that poverty alleviation is his mission.

Imran Khan directed the provincial governments and Islamabad Administration to review the establishment of Handcart (Rehri) bazaars so that the livelihoods of the poor people are not affected by the Covid-19.