News Desk |
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the federal cabinet meeting on Thursday, 11th October at the PM office, news agencies reported. The cabinet took up a nine-point agenda during today’s meeting. Reportedly, the matter of putting or withdrawing the names from Existing Control List (ECL) came under review during the meeting while the matter of appointment of the chairman of the Privatization Commission was also part of the Cabinet meeting agenda.
The cabinet also reviewed the procedure of appointment of Chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board besides giving approval to the appointment of Managing Director of Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal. The meeting also reviewed the proposal of Trading Corporation of Pakistan to soften the rules on the import of urea.
Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar said, “Saudi Arabia is interested in Gwadar and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and has expressed the desire to immediately invest in an oil refinery.”
The issue of tax exemption on four vehicles received in donations was also part of the agenda. Giving approval to the industrial cooperation agreement between Pakistan and Morocco also came under consideration, news agencies reported. The cabinet also endorsed the decisions of Economic Coordination Committee.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, after the cabinet huddle, said the country is taking a loan to repay installments due from earlier debts while alluding to the previous government. The meeting had also discussed the current balance of payments crisis facing the country. The premier said that it needed to be assessed as to why the debt was accumulated in the first place, adding that a “detailed analysis is required on which projects the funds were spent upon”.
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He said that the analysis would enable the country to take an informed decision regarding repayment. “In the last 10 years, Pakistan’s debt soared from Rs6,000 billion to Rs30,000 billion,” he further said while adding that he has sought details of previous loans from the Ministry of Finance.
“The ministry should inform us regarding where the money from the loans was spent,” PM Imran said. “The Orange Line Train project is in debt and we will have to borrow for it.” According to quoted sources, the cabinet members will hold consultations over placing and removing certain people from the Exit Control List (ECL).
“Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy will visit Islamabad next month,” he further said while adding that the volume and other details are yet to be decided.
A draft bill– regarding a new law that will reward whistleblowers who help nab corrupt officials and politicians– is also expected to be presented, as the premier had promised in his media interaction two days earlier.
The premier also lauded the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme by terming it “Pakistan’s most ambitious housing scheme,” and said that the initiative was aimed at strengthening the housing sector, boosting the economy and employment.
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The federal cabinet last week gave the green signal to Saudi Arabia to set up an oil refinery in deep-water port of Gwadar, marking the first major investment by the Gulf country in Pakistan under the new government.
Addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting on 4th October, one week ago, Federal Ministers for Information and Petroleum briefed the press about the Saudi refinery deal. Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar said, “Saudi Arabia is interested in Gwadar and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and has expressed the desire to immediately invest in an oil refinery.”
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“It has been agreed that it will be a government to government (G2G) agreement,” Sarwar further added. “Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy will visit Islamabad next month,” he further said while adding that the volume and other details are yet to be decided.