You can import 5-year-old cars, decides federal cabinet


ISLAMABAD – Upholding its previous decision, the federal cabinet allowed the import of five-year old cars, said Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira here on Wednesday. He was briefing journalists about the decisions taken in the cabinet meeting, which met here on Wednesday with the prime minister in the chair.
“The decision will encourage fair competition and reduce the automobile prices in Pakistan, to benefit consumers”, Kaira said. Kaira said a policy would be evolved with consensus after consultations with other political parties to tackle the Pakistan’s economic challenge, as a part of the national reconciliation.
The meeting decided that prices of petroleum products would be adjusted in light of recommendations from the parliamentary committee. The PM had directed immediate payment of salaries to the employees of ministries that have been devolved to the provinces, Kaira said.
The minister said the cabinet strongly condemned the bombings in Lahore and Karachi, while it also ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the rights of the Child; the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. Similarly, the cabinet gave approval to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The minister also told the media that the cabinet had ratified and approved for signing the agreement between Indonesia and Pakistan in the field of defense. The cabinet approved initiating negotiations to conclude an agreement between Pakistan and Senegal for avoiding double taxation, Kaira said.
Kaira also said the cabinet had approved negotiations with Korea on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Environmental Protection and had approved negotiations for an extradition treaty between Pakistan and Ukraine. The Ambassador of Pakistan in Ukraine had told Pakistan that several Pakistani human traffickers were operating in Ukraine.
Minister Kaira said that terrorists’ backbone in Pakistan had been broken and a few splinter groups were working to spread terror in Pakistan. Reminded that hundreds of thousands employees of the ministries being devolved to the provinces might lose their jobs, the minister said that the Implementation Committee of the 18th Amendment was aware of the issue. “Let me clarify that the number of such federal employees does not run into thousands, but hundreds.
All the employees of the devolved ministries are the liability of the federal government till June, by which time all resources would be handed over to the provinces. There is no question of these employees losing their jobs”, Kaira said. Asked how the Tourism and Culture Ministry would meet international obligations after going the provincial government, Kaira said that all chapters of the national obligations and international protocols would be retained by the federal government.
The minister also denied that a proposal to ban new recruitments to the government was being contemplated. Asked why the size of bureaucracy was not being cut, the minister that this could be done if necessary, but currently this was not a policy.
The minister also said that the finance minister was likely to brief the nation through the media about the economic situation of the country in two or three days and PIA, Pakistan Railways would be restructured instead of privatised.