ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday approved the renewal of aviation licenses of four airlines under the National Aviation Policy 2019.
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the meeting of the federal cabinet in Islamabad.
On the recommendation of the Ministry of Aviation, the Cabinet approved the renewal of aviation licenses of M/S SERENE AIR, M/S AIRBLUE, M/S PIACL and M/S PRINCELY JETS under the National Aviation Policy 2019.
Federal Minister Asad Omar briefed the Cabinet on the new variant of COVID-19, Omicron. The meeting was informed that the new variant originated in Africa. According to initial reports, the rate of spread is very high. The cabinet called for the implementation of COVID SOPs such as use of mask in public places, social distancing, and vaccinations for public safety.
The Cabinet was briefed regarding the introduction of an electronic voting machine and the empowerment of Overseas Pakistanis to vote. Federal Minister Shibli Faraz gave a briefing on procurement of Electronic Voting Machines, training of staff, responsibilities of concerned agencies, public awareness campaign and timely delivery. The cabinet expressed grave concerns over the release of a video of alleged vote-buying during the by-elections in N.A 133. The cabinet said such illegal actions were anti-democratic.
Keeping in view the transparency, the Cabinet directed the concerned departments to clarify about the audit report on the package for COVID-19.
Advisor for Finance presented a comparative review of the prices of essential commodities to the Federal Cabinet.
Weekly inflation fell to 0.67%. Prices of 5 Commodities have seen a reduction trend. The Cabinet was informed that apart from the prices of ghee and tea leaves in the region, prices of all other household items are lower in Pakistan.
These items include flour, grams, dal mash, dal mung, tomato, onion, chicken and petrol. The Cabinet was informed that the prices of flour, sugar, lentils and gram lentils in Sindh are much higher than other provinces. The Cabinet expressed grave concerns over the rising prices of essential commodities in Sindh.
Petroleum Division briefed the Cabinet on the vacancies of MD and CEO in the organizations under the division. The Cabinet was informed that at present 04 posts are vacant on which appointment process is in progress.
The Cabinet, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Aviation, approved the delimitation of high-rise buildings around airports under the Civil Aviation Authority Rules. The height limit of buildings in Islamabad Blue Area has been fixed at 1000 feet. The decision will also help prevent the rampant spread of urban boundaries, save vegetables and preserve agricultural land.
On the recommendation of the Ministry of Commerce, the Cabinet allowed the staff stationed at the Pakistani Embassy in Tehran to import personal vehicles on repatriation under the Hardship Policy.
On the recommendation of the Ministry of Interior, the Cabinet approved to increase the visa period from 120 days to 150 days for those coming to Pakistan from Tablighi Jamaat from abroad. The Cabinet also approved to grant 45 days Visa on Arrival for Tablighi Jamaat. Visas can be obtained through the online visa portal.
Cabinet approved procedure for appointment of EOBI (Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution) Chairman. This appointment will be carried out under the Competitive Process of Management Position Scale Policy 2020.
Cabinet on the recommendation of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis postponed approval to issue Overseas Employment Promoter Licenses. The Cabinet directed that a procedure be worked out within a week to review the work of these promoters. Special care should be taken that promoters should not be illegally charging extra money from those travelling abroad.
The Cabinet ratified the decisions taken at the meeting of the Committee on Institutional Reforms held on 12 November 2021. The meeting recommended the reorganization of the Pakistan Gems and Jewelery Development Company.
The Cabinet ratified the decisions taken at the meeting of the Committee on Energy held on 18 November 2021.
The Committee on Energy had recommended Gas Load Management Plan for Winter 2021-22 and setting up of Oil Depot at Kemari Karachi. Gas Load Management Plan for Winter 2021-22:-
Domestic gas will be reserved for domestic consumers only because of its low cost. The CNG sector will be closed from 01 December 2021 to 15 February 2022. Gas supply to IPPs and fertilizer factories will continue.
Gas supply to export sector industries will continue.
Power plants running on LNG will be provided 5 per cent additional gas.
Electricity prices have been reduced for domestic consumers in winter (Rs. 12.96 per kWh) to meet the gas shortage.
Gas saved from CNG, Cement and Captive Power will be used for domestic consumption.
A public awareness campaign is being launched to save gas.
On the recommendation of the Ministry of Commerce, the Cabinet approved the import of MONTANIDE OIL from France for the treatment of Foot-and-Mouth disease in cattle in Punjab.
On the recommendation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Cabinet approved setting up of a selection board for the appointment of Chairman ITNE and Chairman Press Council of Pakistan. The Selection Board for Chairman ITNE will consist of the Minister of Information, Secretary Information, Additional Secretary Information, Grade 21 Representatives of Establishment Division and Ministry of Law. The Selection Board for the Chairman Press Council of Pakistan will consist of the Minister of Information, Secretary Information, Additional Secretary Information, Representatives of Establishment Division and Ministry of Law.
Cabinet approved the appointment of Muhammad Saleem as Chairman Privatization Commission.
Federal Minister for Industries and Production gave a detailed briefing to the Cabinet on the current stock and prices of fertilizers in the country. The meeting was informed that this year the fertilizer companies released 53 per cent more fertilizer to the dealers in Sindh as compared to the previous year, due to which there was shortage of urea in Punjab and other areas and the price had gone up.
However, on the directions of the Prime Minister, measures were taken to reduce this disparity and against hoarders, which resulted in an average reduction of Rs. 400 per sack.
At present a sack of urea is available in Gujranwala for Rs. 1850. There is a surplus of 200,000 tons of fertilizer compared to the domestic demand. The Cabinet was informed that an online portal has been set up to monitor the supply of fertilizers through which the federal government, provinces and all district administrations can monitor the movement and stock of fertilizers.
Punjab has taken several steps since November 13 to curb the hoarding of fertilizers. Among them 347 FIRs, 244 arrests, 21111 inspections, 480 warehouse seals and fines of Rs 2.79 crore have been imposed.
In addition, control rooms have been set up in each district where complaints related to shortage of fertilizers, hoarding and profiteering can be lodged. Checkpoints have been set up at provincial borders to curb smuggling. Amendments are being made to the relevant laws against hoarding and profiteering in which informants will be rewarded in proportion to the confiscated property.
The Cabinet ratified the decisions taken at the meeting of the Economic Co-ordination Committee held on November 29, 2021. Approval to hold a special meeting of OIC Foreign Ministers in Pakistan. Approval of 50,000 tons of wheat aid to Afghanistan.