- Cabinet approves ban on sale of loose cigarettes to discourage smoking
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a meeting of the federal cabinet at Prime Minister’s Office Tuesday where he was briefed on projections of electricity demand and supply and the available generation capacity for catering to the power requirements during the summer season, particularly during Ramzan.
It was informed that additional power would be added to the national grid from Tarbela-IV and Neelum-Jhelum hydropower projects during next months, which would further augment the existing generation capacity. The meeting was also briefed about the current load-management plan.
The prime minister stated that as a result of untiring efforts of the government, power generation had significantly increased since 2013. He added that the provision of the uninterrupted power supply has remained the priority of the present government in order to meet domestic, commercial and industrial requirements.
The cabinet expressed satisfaction over the power situation and resolved to provide uninterrupted power to the consumers during the upcoming summer season and the holy month of Ramzan.
The meeting also appreciated the efforts of the incumbent, as well as former minister for power for addressing sectoral issues. It was emphasised during the meeting to lay greater focus on addressing administrative and management issues relating to transmission, distribution and recovery of power dues.
The meeting also accorded approval for signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Pakistan and Somalia for rendering NADRA’s services to the latter.
Furthermore, approval was granted to initiate legislation on Geographical Indications Protection Bill, 2017.
Geographical Indications (GIs) is a form of intellectual property rights which identifies a product originating from a specific area, whose quality or reputation is attributable to its place of origin. Possible GIs for Pakistan can include basmati rice, ajrak and pashmina shawls, Peshawri chappal, truck art, apricots, handicrafts and ornaments etc.
The cabinet also approved the appointment of presiding officer for special court (offences in banks), Islamabad. It ratified the recommendations of Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) in its meeting held in February, and of Cabinet Committee on Privatization whose meeting was also held last month.
In order to discourage cigarette smoking, the cabinet approved banning of the sale of loose cigarettes by amending the Prohibition of Sale of Cigarettes to Minors Rules, 2010.
Moreover, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz briefed the cabinet in detail regarding measures to enhance cotton production and exports from Pakistan. Approval was also accorded for the transfer of Pakistan Central Cotton Committee and cotton related matters from Ministry of Textile Industry to Ministry of National Food Security and Research.