Govt forms 6-member panel on benami assets

PM to highlight govt›s one-year ‹achievements› in televised speech


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will take the nation into confidence over his government’s one-year performance in a televised address on August 18, the PM House announced on Saturday. On the same day last year (August 18, 2018), Imran Khan had taken oath as the country’s premier in a simple ceremony hosted at the President House in Islamabad.
According to today’s announcement, the premier has called upon all ministries and divisions to submit their one-year performance report and also asked them to share their five key achievements during the first 12 months in power. The summary has been forwarded to all the ministries by the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Accountability Shehzad Akbar, asking them to submit their progress report by August 9.
The performance and progress of all the ministries will be reviewed by the prime minister himself, who added that the federal government has plans to make all the reports public. PTI Chairman Imran Khan, after assuming the charge of the country top office, had pledged to review performance and progress of his federal cabinet to ensure transparency and efficiency.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has taken notice of a target killing incident that occurred a while back in Punjab’s Pattoki. A man, his wife, and their child were gunned down in Habibabad in Punjab’s Pattoki Friday morning, July 26.
They were traveling from Lahore to Shergarh when they were attacked on Shergarh Road within the jurisdiction of the Saddar Pattoki police station. The Prime Minister has sought a detailed report of the incident from the I.G Punjab over the occurrence. PM Imran Khan also directed the Law Enforcement officials to ensure swift and quick justice to the bereaved family.
Moreover, the government has decided to constitute a committee to collect data regarding benami assets. According to sources, the federal cabinet has given approval for the six-member Benami Information Processing Committee which will function on the pattern of a joint investigating team (JIT).
The Benami Information Processing Committee has been formed under the Benami Transactions Act 2017 and includes officers of grades 18 and 19 from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR). Members of the committee will work from their respective offices.
The committee will be headed by FBR’s National Coordinator Nausheen Javed Amjad.
Sources further said, the Benami Information Processing Committee will gather information regarding benami assets and will provide it to the relevant officials. The committee will expedite the action against benami assets and will assist the relevant authorities to improve their performance.
Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday filed a defamation lawsuit against senior journalist and anchorperson Najam Sethi, seeking damages worth Rs10 billion for making defamatory and slanderous claims about his personal life in his prime time show on a private news channel.
It is earnestly prayed that a permanent injunction be issued against defendant, and in favour of plaintiff, where under restraining defendant for not making any defamatory and slanderous comments against the plaintiff till the final decision of this case, said the premier in his petition.
The petition was filed through PM’s counsel Dr Babar Awan in an Islamabad district court. Awan said in a statement that absurd and shameful claims were made by the news anchor regarding the private life of Prime Minister Imran. “Fake news cannot be dealt with leniency,” he added.
Sethi had claimed during his talk show that the premier had developed differences with the first lady. Awan said the practice of character assassination and violation of rule of law during TV programmes needed to be stopped. It is hoped that the Sethi would defend his immoral remarks in the court instead of seeking escape routes, said the PM’s lawyer.
Sethi, reacting to the development, said he was still waiting for justice from the court for the lawsuit he filed against the premier over his 35 puncture allegations. Even though PM Imran later publicly admitted there was no truth in his ‘political statement’, he added in a message on social media..

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