Cabinet approves import of 3 million metric tons of wheat

PM orders immediate restoration of NCOC after detection of Omicron’s sub-variant


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired the meeting of the federal cabinet here on Tuesday.

The meeting discussed the current political situation in the country and other matters of importance. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday, taking notice of the detection of highly-infectious sub-variant of Omicron virus, directed the restoration of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

The prime minister ordered immediate restoration of the NCOC after the country a day earlier had reported its first case of Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1.

He also sought a report from the Ministry of National Health on the current situation of the virus in the country.

The National Institute of Health (NIH), had detected a case of Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1 through genome sequencing and reported that the new sub-variant was causing an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in different countries.

The NIH advised people to take the best preventive measure to avoid contracting the virus, which is vaccination against it.

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan had formally shut down the NCOC in April on a reduced number of COVID-19 cases.

The NCOC during the pandemic was tasked to oversee the government’s pandemic response and keep the nation updated on daily cases, deaths, recoveries, number of vaccinations, etc. Meanwhile to an official commitment, The Federal Cabinet has accorded approval to the import of three million metric tons wheat.

Briefing media about the decisions taken by the Federal Cabinet which met in Islamabad on Tuesday with Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in the chair, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the Prime Minister also directed to introduce an incentivized agricultural policy that would enable the country to curtail wheat import.

She said the Cabinet also approved revocation of multiple foreign passports under Passport Act, 1974. She said the Cabinet decided that such passports should not only be revoked but also a strategy should be adopted to prevent it in future

Last date for the cancellation of dual foreign passport is 31 December of this year. She said till the date all procedural and administrative arrangements will be finalized to take legal action against dual foreign passport holders.

The cabinet also decided to continue the fixed rates of flour and sugar under the Ramadan package. Under tha package, a 20 kg bag of flour was reduced from 950 rupees to 800 rupees, similarly sugar was reduced from 85 rupees per kg to 70 rupees per kg. In this regard, the Prime Minister directed to ensure its full implementation.

The information minister said Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has completely banned the export of Sugar. She said the ban is aimed at ensuring the smooth supply of sugar in the country at affordable price. She said sufficient stock of sugar is available in the country to meet the demand till the completion of this season.

Marryium Aurangzeb said the cabinet was briefed on Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. She said it was informed that first time a government made visit to these two brotherly countries with a complete strategic partnership plan. She said under this plan, through joint ventures, investments will be made in different programs.

The Minister said the Federal Cabinet approved the appointment of Fawad Asadullah Khan as DG IB. The Cabinet also accepted the resignation of Lieutenant General Retired Muzammil Hussain from the post of Chairman WAPDA.

Speaking on the occasion, Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar said the cabinet expressed its reservations over the recent decisions President Dr. Arif Alvi and Governor Punjab Omer Sarfraz Cheema.  He said the Cabinet approved the advice of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif for the removal of Omer Sarfaraz Cheema from Governor Punjab’s office.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Power, Khurrum Dastagir Khan said Prime Minister Muhamad Shehbaz Sharif directed to formulate a new energy policy.

He said the government is working vigilantly to eradicate load-shedding from the country utilizing all available resources. He said power plants are now, producing 22634 MW and Nuclear power plants are also generating electricity.

He said there was a zero Load shedding during the tenure of PMLN led government while due to incompetency of previous government many factories had been closed.



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