ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has decided to provide state-of-the-art facilities and lucrative incentives at the special economic zone in Gwadar to attract foreign and local investment.
The Cabinet which met in Islamabad Thursday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz expressed resolve that the government would ensure provision of enabling environment for public-private partnership in the port city.
The Cabinet set up its committee headed by the Minister for Ports and Shipping to finalise its recommendations within a month.
The meeting reaffirmed commitment of the government to pursue political dialogue to resolve the problems of people of Balochistan. The Cabinet decided that the government would not allow any one to inflict damage on vital installations and national assets.
The Cabinet took stock of the security situation in the province and reiterated its commitment to engage all stakeholders for the resolutions of problems of people of Balochistan.
Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao briefed the cabinet about arrangements made for maintenance of law and order during Muharram-ul-Haram.
The Cabinet decided that any attempt by any quarter to disrupt sectarian harmony will not be tolerated. “The safety and security of the people and their property will be ensured at all costs during Muharram,” the Cabinet decided.
The Prime Minister gave detailed briefing to the Cabinet members who endorsed the decision to approach World Bank for appointment of neutral expert to resolve the Baglihar Dam issue.
The Cabinet expressed disappointment over the postponement of Summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and expressed the hope that moot will be organized soon in consultation with the member states.
It reiterated commitment to SAARC, as it is a forum, the deliberations of which, are going to play a significant role in shaping up the destiny of the people of these countries.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Ejaz-ul-Haq also briefed the Cabinet about Hajj arrangements which concluded satisfactorily.
The cabinet appreciated the improvements made during this Hajj season and asked the ministry to further facilitate the intending pilgrims in the next Hajj season. The cabinet was informed that a record number of people from Pakistan performed Hajj this year.
To develop alternative energy resources, wind, solar and micro-hydle, the cabinet approved the bill to set up Alternative Energy Development Board-2005. The Cabinet directed the Ministry of science and Technology that appropriate demonstration projects under the board should be undertaken by the end of current year.
Around 75,000 MW of power is estimated to be generated under these three technologies which have yet to be introduced at commercial level in the country.
The Cabinet approved a bill for establishment of Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies to promote research and development in the various field of renewal energy.
To reduce the consumption and production of chlorine and bromine, which damage the ozone layer, the cabinet ratified the Montreal Amendment – 1997 and the Beijing amendment—1999 to the Montreal Protocol on substances that depletes the ozone layer.
The Cabinet also approved initiation of negotiations on Free Trade Agreements of Pakistan with Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Preferential Trade Agreement with Morocco.
The Cabinet also approved ratification of Extradition Treaty signed by China and UAE and also approved to enter into negotiations with Tunisia on the subject.
Defence Housing Authority
The cabinet approved establishment of Defence Housing Authority thus renaming the existing Army Welfare Housing Society.
The Cabinet would thoroughly discuss regional and global situation at its next meeting and especially upcoming visits of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to Saudi Arabia and Iran were of vital importance and significance.
Contact with PPP
Answering a question, the Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said, that the government was in contact with the PPP leadership and it was part of the normal political process.
He said the local bodies elections would be organized this year while general elections would be held in 2007.
Dr Shazia Case
To another question, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said, whoever was found guilty in the incident of Dr Shazia would be brought to the book and side by side those who want to gain political milage from this matter would not be allowed to do so.
When his attention was drawn towards the problems of the common man due to the price hike, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said, steps are in the offing to offer relief to the common man with special reference to government servants
Source: Pakistan Times