Imran Khan approves summary to ban sugar exports, ECC informed

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday approved a summary to ban sugar exports.
The move comes in the wake to address the shortfall between the demand and supply of the sugar in the country. With this decision the export of 350,000 tons of sugar will be halted.
The summary, after approval of from the prime minister has been forwarded to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).
The price of sugar, an essential ingredient in Pakistani cuisine, witnessed 10 rupees per kilogram hike in a week recently, the wholesale rate of the commodity rose from Rs64 to Rs74 per KG and an acute shortage of the commodity surfaced across the country.
Earlier, a petition was filed in the Lahore High Court sought forensic audit of sugar stocks in sugar mills.
“The sugar mills have failed to submit details of their stocks in court, despite the court order,” according to the petition.
The government of Punjab didn’t act so far against the sugar mafia, the plea said.
The petitioner also pleaded to the court to issue an order to the government for action against the mills selling sugar on exorbitant rates.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed for preparation of a roadmap based on timelines within a week related to promotion of information technology sector, including establishment of special technology zones and issuance of 5G Spectrum.
Chairing a meeting regarding promotion of information technology in Islamabad on Friday, Imran Khan said promotion of information technology is a priority of the government being future of the country.
The key areas include launch of 5G spectrum, connecting mobile phone towers through fiberization in big cities and defining time-lines of other important matters to remove impediments in promotion of the IT sector.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the country’s future was linked with the information technology and the government was giving priority to promotion of the sector by providing incentives to the skilled youth.
He said the country’s youth had immense talent and expertise in the IT and the promotion of that sector would create millions of jobs for them.
Secretary Information Technology Shoaib Siddiqi briefed the prime minister about giving incentives to the skilled professional youth and freelancers, increasing exports of the IT sector and tax incentives, easy loans to the youth, facilitation of foreign remittance process for freelancers and visa-related matters.
He said a comprehensive plan had been chalked out for the promotion of IT sector, for which relevant departments had been assigned duties.
A representative of the State Bank of Pakistan said for freelancers, the process on implementing decision on increasing monthly limit of foreign remittance to $25,000 would be completed in two days.
It had been ensured that freelancers be given maximum incentives on the received amount and also the exchange of foreign currency into local currency be made at inter-bank rate, he said.
The meeting was told that e-payment gateway would be established by April. A representative of the Federal Bureau of Revenue gave a briefing on tax incentives to the IT sector.
The meeting was attended by Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, PM’s Special Assistant Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Co-chairman Prime Minister Task Force for IT and Telecom Dr Ata ur Rehman, and secretaries of information technology, commerce, cabinet and finance divisions.
Meanwhile, Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence (DG-ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed has met Prime Minister Imran Khan at PM House.
The top spy Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed called on PM Imran Khan at PM House today where they exchanged views on matters related to national security.
The last meeting between the ISI chief and PM Khan was held in November last year in which they discussed security matters of the country.
Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed had been appointed as new Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (DG-ISI) on June 16.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) central leader Jahangir Tareen called on Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday where they discussed overall political situation and party matters, citing sources.
On Thursday, it emerged that Jahangir Tareen was scheduled to meet PM Imran Khan Friday to discuss matters related to coordination with the coalition partners of the PTI-led federal government.
According to sources, the prime minister would meet the top party leader and issues regarding agriculture, overall political scenario and party matters would come under discussion during the meeting.
The two would also discuss matters relating to the committees formed for addressing reservations raised from the coalition partners.
The senior party leader was recently returned from vacations amid reservations raised from coalition partners including Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).
On January 23, Tareen had expressed hopes that the coalition partners of the federal government will rejoin the cabinet next week as talks with them remained successful.
Jehangir Tareen, while talking to journalists, said the impression of a weak government was only restricted to media houses where channels were seen predicting the departure of the present government while broadcasting different shows in prime time.
The politician clarified that the government has convinced its ally political parties and the coalition partners will rejoin federal cabinet next week. He said that the government is not facing any danger from its coalition partners.
He further predicted that Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif will not return to the country. He added that the local government election will be held in 2020.
Meanwhile, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at his office in Islamabad on Friday.
During the meeting, Imran Ismail shared details of his recent talks with the leadership of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), one of PTI’s allies in the federal government.
Both the leaders agreed to accelerate efforts to woo MQM-P, said sources.
Matters pertaining to the transfer of IG Sindh, development projects, current political situation and other issues were discussed in the meeting. – NNI