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Prime Minister Expresses His Resolve to Reform and Restructure Public Sector Entities on War Footings

Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani presided over the meeting of the Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat today.

The Cabinet was comprehensively briefed on progress on Energy Plan. The Cabinet reviewed the follow up of cabinet decision taken on Oct 12th .The Cabinet was informed that: PEPCO has been dissolved; Central power Purchasing authority has been established as successor organization: selection of professional management for Descos and Gencos has been ensured; 3 Genco companies have been converted into one holding company; Uniform tariff will be ensured throughout Pakistan.: NEPRA will be strengthened and reformed; No unscheduled load shedding in the whole country; The prime Minister expressed his satisfaction over the progress so far made in the power sector reforms.

The Prime Minister expressed his resolve that the restructuring and reforms will be carried out in PIA, Railways, Steel Mill and KESC; Cabinet will be meeting every week instead of fortnightly to review the progress being made in the state owned enterprises. The Finance Minister will brief the Cabinet every week to present overview of the progress in reformation of the enterprises.

The Prime Minister also expressed his resolve to reform and restructures the power and other public sector entities on war footings. The Prime Minister said that he will personally monitor the progress in this area.

The Petroleum and Natural Resources Division gave a detailed presentation on Gas Load Management Plan and future plan to address the issue of gas shortages in the country. The Prime Minister directed that the household users of the natural gas should be exempted from load shedding and no discrimination shall be made in the gas management for the industry sector especially fertilizer industry and CNG.

The Federal Cabinet was given a detailed briefing by DG Military Operation over NATO/ ISAF’s attack on Pakistan’s border post in Mohmand Agency on Nov 26th. The Cabinet emphasized the importance of the ongoing deliberations about this incident by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and look forward to the Committee’s recommendations which would be then considered by the Parliament.

The Cabinet noted that Pakistan’s strong protest had been conveyed to all concerned and all necessary steps have been taken to upgrade the defences of the country.

The Cabinet reviewed the implementation status of the Cabinet decisions pertaining to Economic Affairs and Establishment Divisions. The cabinet was informed that 6118 contract and on daily wages employees have been regularized by the government as per its commitment with the people of Pakistan. The gigantic task of accommodating and adjusting the employees of the devolved 17 Ministries has been accomplished. NCHD employees are being paid their salaries as per Supreme Court decision.

The Cabinet considered and gave its confirmation of the decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet in its meeting held on 11th November, 2011.

The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval for ratification of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) among the D-8 countries. D-8 is an arrangement for development and cooperation among 8 most populace Muslim countries. The offer list of the D-8 PTA of Pakistan contains a total of 254 items.

The offer list has been finalized by the Ministry of Commerce in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders of Pakistan including the Ministry of Industries, Ministry of Textile Industry, the Federal Board of Revenue and the then Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Pakistan will not be offering major tariff concessions under the Agreement as the D-8 end rate will be above the tariff rates offered by Pakistan to other FTA partners for these tariff lines.

The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval for starting of negotiation on Mutual Recognition Agreement, Agreement on Redressal of grievances with India and Preferential Trading Agreements under SAFTA. In the Sixth Round of Commerce Secretary Level Talks held on 14-15 November, 2011, both sides discussed the process of trade normalization further.

The Federal Cabinet considered and gave its approval to: Framework Agreement signed by 37 countries and ratified by 25 countries; protocol on the preferential tariff Scheme for TPS- OIC signed by 23 countries and ratified by 13 countries and rules of origin signed by 20 countries and ratified by 10 countries.

The basic idea behind it is the trade preferential system of OIC countries. This will stipulate member countries for reducing customs or other restriction for bilateral trade between Muslim countries.

The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval to the signing of Agreement between the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland on military Cooperation. On its signing, it will pave the way for broad based military cooperation between the two countries.

The Cabinet ratified and gave its approval for ratification of the Agreement on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation signed between the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Government of Romania.

The Agreement shall enter into force on the date of the receipt of last notification by which the Parties shall communicate each other that their internal legal procedures concerning its entering into force have been completed.

The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval to sign framework Agreement for Grant Aid between Government of Republic of Korea and Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The Government of the Republic of Korea intends to sign a Framework Agreement with the Government of Pakistan for grant aid assistance. The Agreement aims at institutionalizing the development cooperation relating to grant assistance between the two countries.

It includes, inter-alia (i) providing Pakistani Government with equipment, machinery and material; (ii) implementing aid projects for economic and social development of Pakistan; (iii) inviting nationals of Pakistan to training programmes in the Republic of Korea; (iv) dispatching experts to Pakistan for consulting and on the spot training programmes and (v) holding consultation with the Pakistani Government in a spirit of partnership. The Framework Agreement is expected to be signed during the forthcoming visit of the President of Pakistan to South Korea in December 2011.

The Cabinet considered and gave its approval for signing of MoU on Cooperation between the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, Government of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Railways of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

In order to expand Pakistan-Korea Cooperation in the field of Railway development and to establish a long-term cooperative relationship based on equality and mutual benefits, a MoU is proposed to be signed between the respective parties during the upcoming visit of the President of Pakistan to South Korea in December, 2011.

The Cabinet considered and gave its approval to signing of MoU between Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water) and Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).

The Cabinet considered and gave its approval to signing of MoU between Ministry of Water and Power Pakistan and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The MoU is aimed at promotion of bilateral cooperation in the field of hydropower business, through exchange of data, experience, visits and joint work between both the nations so that they may benefit from each other by sharing invaluable experiences and knowledge to be gained from such cooperation.

The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval for MoU on disaster management between NDMA and Korean National Emergency Management Agency.

The Cabinet offered prayer for the health and early recovery of the president of Pakistan

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