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Elements involved in corruption, criminal negligence be held accountable: Shehbaz

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said that the elements involved in the deep-rooted menace of corruption and criminal negligence for denting the national economy would be held accountable.
Referring to the track and trace system agreement made in 2019, the prime minister said this system was nothing but a cruel joke to the nation as no improvement was seen in the sectors of tobacco, cement, sugar and fertilizer.
He said the agreement was totally a fraud as even no penalty clause was included in it.
Chairing a meeting of the Cabinet at the PM House, he said that he had ordered to form an inquiry committee in this regard that will present its report within 72 hours.
As regards the macroeconomic indicators, the prime minister expressed satisfaction over the collective performance of both incumbent and the interim governments. He said according to a recently published report on Pakistan economy, many indicators including IT export, remittances, capital market were showing positive results due to the prudent policies of the government.
However, he maintained that lot of work needed to be done. The government will perform ‘major surgical operation’ to get rid of the deep-rooted flaws in the country’s economy, he added.
PM Shehbaz Sharif informed that he completed the power sector review in four phases in which important decisions were taken to minimize power theft and line losses, and to reduce prices of the electricity. Besides, he said the government had also decided in principle to divest the Distribution Companies (DISCOs).
He said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had old and obsolete systems which needed to be replaced to increase the tax to GDP ratio. He pointed out that the FBR had the potential to earn extra revenues worth hundreds of billions of rupees by implementing reforms in its system.
“We have to take tough decision in larger interest of the country and we will fully monitor the implementation phase,” the prime minister remarked.
As regards, privatization of the State Owned Entities (SOEs), the prime minister assured that the process would be done without delay and in a transparent manner.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday directed formation of a committee for consultation with the provinces for policy making on guiding principles for carbon credits.
He was chairing the third meeting of Pakistan Council for Climate Change.
The federal and provincial governments would work together for making policies regarding climate change, he said.
“Our challenges regarding climate change are increasing with every passing day,” he said, adding without the consultation of provinces, there was no question of policy making of any kind on the issue.
The participants discussed in detail policy guidelines for foreign trading in carbon credits. He instructed that a policy draft should be presented in the next meeting of the Council after consultation with the provinces.
The chief ministers of the four provinces expressed their viewpoint regarding policy making and gave recommendations.
The prime minister directed that the provinces and other stakeholders should be taken into confidence regarding the important policy draft on climate change.
He said Pakistan was one of the countries badly suffered from the adverse effects of climate change. It was gravely affected by the rains in 2022 and the floods caused by them.
As a servant of Pakistan, he said, he worked for the relief and rehabilitation of the flood affectees and fought the case of Pakistan all across the world regarding climate change.
He said Ahsan Iqbal and Sherry Rehman and all the relevant institutions and ministries took important steps to take Pakistan out of that difficult time and to build infrastructure in the country regarding climate change.
He said he and the Pakistani nation were thankful to the friendly countries and the international community particularly Secretary General of the United Nations for coming to the aid of affected Pakistanis.
Federal ministers including Ishaq Dar, Ahad Cheema, Muhammad Aurangzeb and Sardar Awais Khan Leghari, Coordinator of Prime Minister on Climate Change Romina Khurshid Alam, high level officers and experts from the public and private sectors attended the meeting.
The Azad Jammu & Kashmir prime minister and the chief ministers of provinces, including Gilgit Baltistan, attended the meeting through video link.
Meanwhile, the incumbent government has introduced changes in the Special Professional Pay Scales (SPPS) Policy under which Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to devolve some of his authority to the ministries/divisions to ensure the swift hiring of talented professionals, according to the Establishment Division.
In this regard, the Establishment Division has rebutted a news item published in a section of the press titled, “PM powers to make key appointments withdrawn by cabinet” calling it giving an “absolutely erroneous and misplaced” impression.-APP

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