Cabinet forms committee to amend NAB laws


Seeks steps to promote industry, enhance agro-based exports
The federal cabinet Tuesday approved the constitution of a committee to amend laws pertaining to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The cabinet which met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair, approved that the committee will be headed by the law minister and comprised leading experts of law, banking, bureaucracy and other sectors.
During the detailed discussion on amendments to the NAB law, the cabinet members termed it a black legislation, which has been used for political victimisation and to harass government employees and the business community.
The cabinet also approved annulment of Civil Servants (Directory Retirement from Service) Rules 2020 as well as ending disciplinary actions initiated against government officers under these rules. The cabinet said that these rules are being used to pressurise government officers, which have no justification. It declared that new rules cannot be framed in the presence of already existing ones.
The cabinet said the process of accountability should be transparent and indiscriminate. The cabinet gave approval to a design for a commemorative note to be issued on the 75th Independence Day of the country and the establishment of the State Bank of Pakistan. The cabinet decided to print this commemorative note within Pakistan to save the precious wealth of the nation.
The cabinet was apprised that exports volume recorded during the first ten months of the current fiscal year remained $31.2 billion, while imports remained $76.7 billion dollars. During the same period, a rise of $4.95 billion was witnessed in exports, whereas imports surged to $11.16 billion.
The cabinet members were told that in order to increase exports, it was essential to provide gas and electricity at the competitive rate at par with the other countries in the region. Moreover, efforts should be made for early revival of the business activities hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, besides extending facilities to investors and the business community.
Apprising the cabinet of the factors behind increase in imports, the commerce ministry said that the price hike of energy led to the import bill. The import of the Covid vaccine, wheat, sugar, cotton, steel and fertilizer and appreciation of the dollar also led to the import bill. The cabinet directed the commerce ministry to furnish a detailed strategy to reduce imports, enhance exports as well as for the import substitution.
The cabinet approved the formation of a policy formulation committee to promote industry, increase yield and enhance agro-based exports. The committee would consist of ministers of commerce, industries and production, national food security and the federal secretaries concerned.
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom presented the cabinet with its recommendations to increase software exports. The prime minister set the target for IT exports as $15 billion as the IT sector has great potential for investment and exports.
The cabinet consented to import 200,000 metric tonnes of urea to fulfil the needs for the Kharif season. The prime minister said that the country is facing a severe heatwave and a special task force has been constituted under the Ministry of Climate Change to take appropriate measures. The task force would take measures to do away with the impacts of climate change to protect the country from the future hazards.
The federal cabinet also endorsed the decisions made by the Economic Coordination Committee in its meeting held on May 16, 2022. The ECC had allocated Rs52 billion for the Petroleum Division for the payment of claims of the oil marketing companies and refineries regarding the price differentials which would be valid for 15 days starting May 16. TLTP