PM Imran reviews progress on civil service reforms

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OUR CORRESPONDENT
ISLAMABAD
Federal Cabinet has approved Pak-Turkey Strategic Economic Framework to forge stronger cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey. Briefing newsmen regarding cabinet decisions in Islamabad on Tuesday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Prime Minister Imran Khan will head the high-level cooperation committee from Pakistan side while Turkish side will be headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The framework has nine joint working groups that will be headed by Minister of Economic Affairs from Pakistan side. All sectors of the economy will be covered by joint working groups and 71 actionable items have been included in these. The items including Free Trade Agreement, Technology Transfer, capacity building, and defense cooperation. This framework will help connect Pakistan with Central Asia, Russia and the West.
Prime Minister told the cabinet about the challenges faced by the government when it came to power. He said the economy that was on verge of default was revived and now it is in sustainable mode. The Current Account Deficit has been brought down by 30 percent and in one year it reduced from 19.8 billion dollars to 13.5 billion dollars. The meeting also took into consideration the investment friendly policies to encourage foreign investors, especially overseas Pakistanis.
The Cabinet discussed measures to give confidence to businessmen and to ensure business friendly environment. It discussed the procedural challenges in the working of NAB that could deter businessmen on taking decisions. The Cabinet endorsed the decisions of committee on privatization in its last meeting. The Cabinet accorded approval of five billion rupees to give interest free loans to poor and homeless people.
The Prime Minister also directed to ensure merit and transparency in the disbursing of loans. He said a mechanism and detailed strategy be made to launch the scheme across the country.
The cabinet accorded approval in principle to Christian Marriage and Divorce Bill as per religious norms and following of the Christian community.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday reviewed progress thus far made on the civil service reforms. He issued directives for speeding up the process of introduction of these reforms. Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, Advisor on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Advisor on Establishment Mohammad Shezad Arbab, and secretaries of the establishment, finance, cabinet divisions, and other senior officials were in attendance in the meeting.
Dr. Ishrat Hussain gave a detailed briefing on the progress made on the reforms and future planning. The reforms include protection during appointment tenure, the formation of a comprehensive system for appointment of secretaries in different ministries, appointment system for the heads of 65 important independent departments and bodies, and appointment of technical advisors for the assistance of ministers, etc.
The prime minister appreciated the efforts of the advisor and observed that the civil service should consist of talented and determined manpower, possessing urge for serving the public so that the political vision could be translated into reality. The prime minister was apprised that for the first time a complete and transparent mechanism had been made for the appointment of heads of 65 important independent institutions/bodies.
Under this mechanism, 30 appointments had been made so far. This mechanism not only ensured transparency in the system but also ensured that the appointment of relevant people from the concerned official departments/institutions possessing the required expertise could be made on these posts.
Moreover, Prime Minister Imran Khan likely to visit Sindh by end of this month (August).

The well informed sources said that Sindh Governor Imran Ismail will leave for Islamabad today on a day-long visit where he would formally invite the prime minister to visit Tharparkar.

The prime minister will announce a special package for Tharparkar during his visit to Sindh. The sources said that PM Imran likely to arrive in Sindh on August 30 or 31.
During his visit, the prime minister will also address a mass public meeting in Thar. Earlier on March 30, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said Sindh should have been a prosperous province of the country, ‘but corruption pushed it backwards.’ Addressing a public gathering in Ghotki, PM khan had said that Sindh had all the resources to be a prosperous province of Pakistan.
“It is a province rich in gas production and crop cultivation, but it still has the poverty more than the entire country. And it’s because of corruption”, he had said. PM Imran Khan presides over federal cabinet meeting on IoK, economy and LoC violations.

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