HEADLINE PAKISTAN

Federal Cabinet decides to recover corruption money, wealth stashed abroad illegally

Islamabad: The Federal Cabinet today took several decisions for recovery of corruption money and the wealth stashed abroad illegally.

Its meeting was held in Islamabad today with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.

Later, briefing newsmen, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhary and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar said a whistle blower law is being enforced immediately through ordinance envisaging reward worth 20% for those who would help recover such money.

They said names of the informers would be kept confidential.

The Special Assistant said another ordinance on mutual legal assistance is being issued which would help remove bottlenecks in the way of seeking information from foreign countries on illegal wealth.

He said the Prime Minister has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to dispatch a high powered delegation to Switzerland to expedite ratification of the treaty on exchange of information on bank accounts. He said the treaty was signed in 2013 but was not ratified.

Shahzad Akbar said the Government would also hire firms that would detect and help recover illegal money and in the case of recovery the firm would get an agreed share of the recovered amount.

He said the Prime Minister would get reports on implementation of these measures on fortnightly basis.

Minister for Information said eighty billion rupees have been saved and returned back to Finance Ministry due to the stopping of discretionary funds by Prime Minister. He said schemes like Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme have been abolished and the money returned to the Finance Ministry.

The Cabinet took notice of a media report about premature commissioning of Tarbela extension four project causing a loss of 25 billion rupees to the national exchequer.

The Cabinet also decided that education, health and water sectors will be driven from federation.

A task force has been constituted on education led by Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood. It will include prominent educationists, representatives of Madaris and skill development. First objective is to bring 25 million out of school children to education network.

A uniform school education and certification system would be enforced throughout the country. It has been decided to consult with provinces regarding increasing of school fee by the private schools.

In addition, it has been decided that funds will be spent on establishing centers for street children and women.

The cabinet gave instructions to provide easy access in all buildings for disabled people, both at federal and provincial levels.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been directed to improve its attitude with overseas Pakistanis. A strict notice will be taken if complaints are received against the attitude of staff deputed at foreign missions and embassies worldwide.

The cabinet has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to collect data of over 10,000 Pakistanis incarcerated in various countries. Of these, 3,000 are in Iran mostly on drug related offences. As Iran has amended its anti-drug law in recent days, it is hoped a large number of Pakistanis will get relief.

To a question the Minister said Islam is religion of peace and rights of minorities will be protected by the government.