PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed matters related to sensitive data leakage with Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP), Aamir Khan here on Tuesday.
The SECP chairman called on the Prime Minister to discuss matters related to data leakage of SECP. He informed the Prime Minister about the ongoing inquiry into the data leaks of SECP.
Earlier, the cabinet members have held discussions over the data leaks of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in the meeting where the ministers recommended the Premier for releasing the order to publicise its inquiry report.
Faisal Vawda said that facts should be unveiled before the nationals as important revelations were made in the inquiry report regarding the son of Zafar Hijazi, whereas, many people belonging to Jang Group were also involved in it. He criticised that some government lawmakers were having sympathies for the persons involved in the data leaks.
The Prime Minister hinted to publicise the inquiry report of SECP data leak in order to uncover the facts.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to ensure availability of sufficient stock of wheat in line with the requirements of the commodity in the country.
Chairing a meeting here on Tuesday on availability of wheat and sugar and their prices in the country, the Prime Minister said that wheat and sugar are basic needs of the people and availability of these commodities should be ensured at reasonable prices.
The Prime Minister was apprised that 400,000 metric tons of wheat has so far been imported by the private sector, while one million metric tons of the commodities will arrive in the country next month.
Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) informed that 1.5 million metric tons of wheat is being imported by the government for which a tender to procure 330,000 metric tons has been floated, while more tenders will be offered soon.
“Besides private investors, we are also importing wheat through government to government agreements,” he said.
The chairman said that sugar was also imported in the country and they are ensuring that a balance is created between the demand and supply of the commodity in the local market.
Chief secretary Punjab said that the sugar mills have been strictly conveyed to start crushing by November 15 and a Rs 50,00 fine on the mills per day would be imposed for delaying the crushing process.
The Prime Minister directed that he should continuously be kept abreast about progress in import of wheat.
It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Imran Khan had already instructed strict adherence to a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on the act of wheat and sugar hoarding in June this year.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday stopped the federal ministers from issuing controversial statements, saying that a minister does not have the liberty to express personal opinions as his words are supposed to reflect the government’s policies.
“No minister should issue unnecessary statements. A minister does not have personal opinions,” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying by sources during a meeting of the federal cabinet.
During the meeting, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, pointing towards Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, said, “We have reservations over some statements of yours. You speak the most.”
At this, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid said that Mazari at times imposes herself on others.
Listening to this, the Prime Minister warned all ministers not to speak unnecessarily and cautioned them against speaking on sensitive religious matters.
The Prime Minister said that ministers are not entitled to personal opinions because their statements reflect the government’s stance. He expressed his displeasure at the construction of a jail on the green area in Islamabad, saying that the government should take care of natural habitats and protect greenery.
The Prime Minister said that he would take action against those who were responsible for the planning and execution of the project.
Meanwhile, the federal cabinet has decided to reduce prices of 94 key lifesaving drugs, including Remdesivir, being used for treatment of COVID-19.
Briefing the media persons here on Tuesday about the decisions taken by the federal cabinet, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan said that the price of Remdesivir is being reduced from over Rs10,000 to Rs8400. Besides, prices of 94 medicines have been rationalized to ensure availability of quality medicines at reasonable rates. The special assistant said that it will also ensure availability of sufficient stock of these medicines and to end shortage.
“The 94 medicines include life-saving drugs, as well as those prescribed for blood pressure, epilepsy, cancer, and heart disease,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Shibli Faraz said the cabinet held detailed discussion on the Anti-Rape Investigation and Prosecution Bill in view of growing incidents of rape. He said the bill suggests exemplary punishments for rapists, use of modern technology in investigating such cases and protection of rape victims.
He said the bill will cover the loopholes in the existing laws. He said the final draft of the bill will be presented in the next cabinet meeting.
The information minister said a detailed briefing was given on rising circular debt in the power sector that is cancerous to the country’s economy. He said the cabinet was told that practical steps are being taken to reduce the circular debt and bring down power tariff.
The information minister said that the cabinet had discussed matters related to the country’s energy sector as well and it also mulled over the policy on which LNG-based energy plants operate.
“In the past, energy was made expensive due to expensive contracts,” he said, adding that the masses should be made aware of the reason why power was expensive before and the steps the incumbent government is taking to reduce the cost.
The decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee were also ratified, Faraz said. Faraz, blaming the past governments, said that they had focused on producing energy and did not pay attention to the transmission and supply of power.
“Line losses increased as [the past governments] did not focus on transmission [of energy],” he said.
Responding to a question, Dr Faisal Sultan said the situation with regard to Covid-19 is stable. He said better compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) is being witnessed in the schools. He stressed the need for wearing masks, observing social distancing and keeping washing hands with short intervals to protect ourselves from coronavirus. – TLTP