–Firdous says although Opp leaders are behaving ‘inappropriately’, they’re internally overjoyed by amended NAB laws
–Says PM has declared 2020 as ‘year of prosperity’ for the country and has directed authorities to expedite welfare work
ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Tuesday said that the government will follow due process for implementing the newly-approved National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Amendment Ordinance 2019 and a proper debate will be held on it inside the parliament.
Addressing a press conference following the meeting of the federal cabinet, the SAPM lashed out the opposition’s “hypocrisy”, saying that for the past 11 years, they wanted the NAB laws to be amended and when the government has finally taken a step, they are objecting to the amendment.
“Although they are internally overjoyed, they are criticising the government over a goodwill move for the sake of their politics,” she said, adding that the opposition’s attitude over the matter is “inappropriate”.
Speaking about the other decisions by the federal cabinet, she said that the government will release financial assistance for the poor in January 2020 as Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to take responsibility for the weaker segments of the society. “The cabinet appreciated the premier’s initiatives for establishing shelter houses for needy people,” she said.
Firdous said that the premier also discussed the closure of sugar mills and he will chair a meeting of price review committee on Wednesday to the monitor rates of cotton, sugarcane and sugar.
The SAPM said that the government has approved the publication of 2008’s financial assessment report of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and issuance of the financial card is also being made in accordance with the survey report.
She said that a briefing was given to the cabinet members over financial matters of the current year. “The authorities witnessed a 40 per cent reduction in trade balance besides recording 4.7 per cent increase in exports whereas 73 per cent improvements were seen in current account deficit as compared to the previous year,” she said.
“Tax collection also rose up to 17 per cent and export rate recorded up to $10.3 billion while the situation of foreign investment is also bettered,” she added.
Fidous said that the government has also decided to appoint Muhammad Hashim Raza as chief executive of small and medium industries. “The cabinet has sent back National Electric and Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Amended Act to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) again,” she said, adding that a bill regarding conversion of National College of Arts (NCA) into an institute was also passed in the latest meeting.
Firdous also said that the decision to appoint Shahid Khan as the managing director of Oil and Gas Company was also approved by the cabinet during the meeting.
“PM Imran has directed to expedite progress on Ehsaas and Kifalat programmes. The premier has declared 2020 as the year of a stable economy besides holding a detailed discussion for making improvements in the economic roadmap of the country. The cabinet also discussed the NAB Amendment Ordinance 2019 that had removed troubles of the business community,” she added.
She also spoke about the expulsion of over 800,000 people from the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). The special assistant said that the unmerited people were expelled from the BISP programme as many government employees were getting benefits illegally from the poverty alleviation project. She vowed that the deserving people will get relief from the government under the Ehsaas programme.