Islamabad, May 16, 2012 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani presided over the meeting of the Federal Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat today.
The Prime Minister briefed the Cabinet on his recent visit to United Kingdom. The Prime Minister said that he had a very successful visit and his meeting with the British Prime Minister was very useful. He said that apart from the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue, his visit to Buckingham Palace and meetings with the Duke of York and other Ministers provided an opportunity to discuss various strands of cooperation between the two countries.
He further said that the British Prime Minister applauded the fact that the Government is working to strengthen democracy in Pakistan and he categorically declared that Pakistan’s friend is the UK’s friend and Pakistan’s enemy is the UK’s enemy, a strong reiteration of Pakistan’s standing an importance in the international community.
The Prime Minister noted that while he was abroad, some political leaders tried to undermine the sanctity of the office of the Prime Minister and urged their party workers to stage protest rallies which they miserably failed due to peoples commitment to democracy.
The Prime Minister said that such political leaders should know that they cannot interpret the judgments of the courts according to their own whims and should avoid influencing the courts by their naïve interpretation. He said that he has a right to appeal and hopes that the justice will be done in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
While talking about the relations with the US, the Prime Minister said that our relations with NATO and US are passing through a delicate face where we need to take critical decisions keeping in view our strategic importance in the region and our national interest. He said that we did not and will not compromise on our principled stand but would not take emotional decisions.
The Cabinet endorsed the decisions of the DCC which met yesterday and welcomed the invitation extended by the NATO Secretary General to the President for attending NATO Summit in Chicago.
The Prime Minister informed the Cabinet meeting that economic indicators of Pakistan’s economy are moving in the right direction despite the global recession and the devastating floods of 2010 and 2011. The Prime Minister said that his government will present a pro-people budget and he has given following policy guidelines and broad parameters on which the Finance Ministry should focus in preparation of the budget;
The budget should be people friendly and priority be given to alleviating the difficulties of common man and provision of relief.
Job creation through the next budget should be a top priority. Job opportunities for 100,000 young men and women have to be created.
In order to ensure cost effective service delivery to the masses, expansion and strengthening of infrastructure and improvement of governance should be our priority.
To address the energy crisis in the country, recommendations of the Energy Conference held in Lahore, in April, 2012, should be the guidelines for resource allocation for Power Sector, the recommendations of the Energy Conference have been prepared with the consensus of the Provinces.
Tax policy and tariff rationalization may be done thoughtfully. The tariff rationalization may be done methodically after analysis of all products on their own merit without discouraging the local and foreign investment.
Monitoring and evaluation capacity of Planning Commission be strengthened. The evaluation should be result-based with emphasis upon outcomes.
The cost of project management in public sector development is too high which needs to be further rationalized.
Expeditious and full disbursement of PSDP budgets should be ensured during the currency of the financial year.
The Prime Minister extended congratulation to Federal Minister Khurshid Shah and party workers for organizing successful public meeting at Kamu Shaheed. He also welcomed and appreciated that the opposition has proposed names for the Chief Election Commissioner.
At this stage, the Cabinet set aside the regular agenda and turned into a Special Cabinet meeting to discuss the energy shortages in the country. The Special Cabinet meeting had a detailed view of energy shortages in the country. All members of the Cabinet took part in the exhaustive discussion and shared their point of view. The Cabinet took the following decisions:-
Cabinet Energy Committee comprising Ministers for Finance, Petroleum, Water and Power, Information and Broadcasting, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission and Governor State Bank of Pakistan will meet frequently to sort out the issue of energy shortages.
The Finance Minister assured the Cabinet meeting that all financial resources will be utilized, till the next budget, for the generation of energy to meet the energy requirements.
Energy Monitoring Control Room will be set up in the Ministry of Water and Power which will have round the clock surveillance of energy situation and one member of the Cabinet Energy Committee will sit in the Control Room to monitor the evolving situation.
Print and electronic media will be kept abreast over the latest situation with each passing day so that the people should know the exact time and schedule of load management.
Energy Conservation Plan will be fully implemented.
The Cabinet decided that theft and recovery issues in the WAPDA will be dealt in a very strict manner and in this regard all necessary steps including legislation will be taken to ensure compliance.
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