Federal ministers await release of development funds: report

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ISLAMABAD: Basic civic issues will continue to persist in many parts of the country as Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday turned down the demand of federal ministers for the release of development funds for their constituencies, according to a report by a private media outlet.

The ministers attending a federal cabinet meeting, which was presided over by the prime minister, demanded that the promised funds be released for development activities in their constituencies so that they could go again to the people before general elections.

However, it was learnt that some blue-eyed Members National Assembly (MNAs) of the ruling party, including retired Captain (r) Mohammad Safdar, son-in-law of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, had received billions of rupees for development in his constituency. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had taken notice of alleged irregularities in uplift schemes being executed in the constituency of Safdar.

Taking up the issues being faced by sugarcane growers, the cabinet directed the provincial governments to ensure that sugar mills make prompt payment to farmers as per the official rate of sugar cane.

The meeting also approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of information between Pakistan and Tajikistan. It also approved the signing of an MoU for cooperation in the field of labour and training between Pakistan and the Sultanate of Oman.

The cabinet approved the signing of arrangements for mutual cooperation in the field of justice administration between Pakistan and Tunisia. It also accorded approval to enforcement of the Costs of Litigation Act, 2017, with effect from March 1.

The meeting also gave approval to the appointment of district and sessions judge Khawaja Wajihuddin as judge of the Banking Court-I, Peshawar, as recommended by the Peshawar High Court chief justice. A proposal regarding appointment of district and sessions judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi as judge of the Special Court (Anti-Terrorism-I), Islamabad, was approved.

A proposal for notifying maximum retail price of various drugs as well as a reduction in prices of drugs in line with the Drug Pricing Policy was also approved.

The meeting approved the appointment of members of the board of directors of Pakistan State Oil and Pakistan Petroleum Limited. The cabinet also accorded approval to the legislation in respect of the establishment of Institute of Science and Technology, Bahawalpur.

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