Federal cabinet decides to ban use of all discretionary funds of President, PM & MNAs

LATEST PAKISTAN

Islamabad: Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said a task force will be set up to resolve the problems of slums in order to bring them into mainstream.

Briefing media about cabinet decisions in Islamabad this evening, the Minister said the government wants to improve the living standard of people and resolve their issues.

The Minister said the cabinet took another important decision to ban use of all discretionary funds of President, Prime Minister and MNAs as it is an insult to tax payers.

He said from now onwards, the development projects will be discussed in parliament and their approval will be given after a detailed review.

Fawad Chaudhry the discretionary powers of all the ministers to grant funds have also been revoked.

The Information Minister said funds worth 21 billion rupees were spent by previous government last year. In addition, thirty billion rupees were allocated to MNAs for development projects, making it a huge amount of 51 billion rupees.

He said previous governments used national exchequer like their own property.

Fawad Chaudhry said as part of austerity drive of Prime Minister, it has been decided that special plane of Prime Minister will not be used for foreign visits. Rather, he will travel in ordinary passenger planes and use the club class instead of business or first class.

This discretion has also been abolished for President, Chief Justice, and other senior officials.

The Minister said cabinet also took decision to hold forensic audit of all mass transport projects including Multan Metro bus project, Lahore Orange Train Project and Peshawar Metro Bus. He said, if needed, FIA will investigate the issues.

The cabinet also decided to start urban tree plantation projects in Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Lahore from next month. The purpose is to make these areas green and mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change.

He said the cabinet decided that working hours will be changed from 9 am to 5 pm and the weekly holiday of Saturday will not be abolished. It will also be ensured that public servants dedicate full time to their jobs during the working hours.

Commenting on an incident in Faisalabad, Fawad Chaudhry said it was a law and order situation matter between two groups and had no religious dimension.

Replying to a question, the Minister said it is being considered to abolish the Ministry of CADD and merge its employees into other departments.

On a question regarding information ministry, he said there will be visible changes in his ministry soon.

He said PTV and Radio Pakistan have been given directions to give equal coverage to all political parties and their leaders and there is no editorial censorship on both.

He said duration of English transmissions on PTV and Radio Pakistan will be enhanced in order to give the world a picture of what is happening in the country.

He said PTV World will highlight the regional issues of the country.

Fawad Chaudhry told a questioner that task forces set up by the government are for short term goals and long term goals and they will work accordingly.

On another question, a mechanism is being evolved to hold a complete inquiry on Result Transmission System of Election Commission of Pakistan, so that such delays do not occur in future.