Cabinet approves presentation of first-ever draft ‘water policy’ before CCI



ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Tuesday chaired a meeting of the federal cabinet at Prime Minister’s Office where the cabinet accorded approval for the presentation of draft water policy before the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

Planning Commission deputy chairman briefed the cabinet in detail about the issues relating to water management in the country and the first-ever draft water policy of the country. Briefing the meeting about main features of the national policy framework, he said that the policy aims at the introduction of integrated water management for addressing water-related challenges.

The policy addresses issues relating to enhancing water storage capacity, conservation, research and development, capacity building of existing administrative departments, allocation of financial resources and establishment of the institutional set-up at provincial levels.

The cabinet also approved placement of draft Limitation relating to Civil Revision Bill, 2018 before the parliament.

The cabinet approved amendments to the Rules of Business, 1973. The amendments comprise of inclusion of Hajj and Umrah Directorate in Schedule-III as an attached department of Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, the inclusion of National Language Promotion Department and National Library of Pakistan as attached departments of National History and Literary Heritage Division.

Moreover, the inclusion of Pakistan Halal Authority in the list of functions of Science and Technology Division was approved, whereas National Fertilizer Development Center (NFDC) was transferred from Ministry of Planning and Development to Ministry of National Food Security and Research, and corresponding amendments in the Rules of Business were approved.

Cabinet also approved the transfer of Pakistan Environmental Planning and Architectural Consultant Ltd. from Climate Change Division to Planning, Development and Reforms Division.

Approval was also accorded for placement of the Institute of Science and Technology Bahawalpur Bill, 2018 before the parliament.

Furthermore, the cabinet rejected a proposal to increase the rate of central excise duty on import of raw material for manufacturing of edible oil, vegetable ghee and cooking oil on mills in FATA and PATA. The cabinet directed that the issue of rationalisation of taxes be considered at the time of formulation of budget proposals.

Constitution of a search committee for appointment of Islamabad’s Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) vice-chancellor was approved by the cabinet. The committee will comprise of federal minister for health services, minister for federal education and professional training, minister of state for CADD, University of Health Sciences Lahore vice chancellor and prominent educationist Dr Sania Nishtar.

The cabinet also accorded approval for signing of MoU between Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) and Nepal Academy, Nepal. Areas of cooperation include mutual exchanges of writers, poets and intellectuals.

Moreover, it also includes collaboration in the translation of works of prominent scholars, poets and writers, joint publications, the arrangement of training courses, promotion of literature and arrangement of joint exhibitions and conferences.

Approval was also given to signing of an agreement on cooperation in the field of combating crime between Government of Pakistan and Government of Saudi Arabia.

Appointments on vacant positions of commissioners in Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) were approved.

In order to solicit services of professionals in the public sector organisations, a proposal regarding the introduction of special pay scales was approved by the cabinet in principle.