Federal Cabinet approves 2.5 billion rupees Ramadan package: Kaira

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the Federal Cabinet approved 2.5 billion rupees Ramadan package. Briefing media after the cabinet meeting here on Wednesday‚ the Information Minister said that under the package‚ 5700 utility stores throughout the country will offer subsidy on a number of daily use items. He said that Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf directed the Utility Stores Corporation to make immediate arrangements for providing the facility in FATA. Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the cabinet approved in principle to increase quote for non-Muslims in the National and provincial assemblies proportionate to the country's populations. The Minister said that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had announced that women and minorities will enjoy double protection under which they will be allowed to contest election on both the general seats and their special seats. He said that the present government has also given representation to minorities in the Senate. Qamar Zaman Kaira said that Secretary Finance briefed the Cabinet about Consumer Price Index‚ which has registered a downward trend. He said that the Prime Minister apprised the Cabinet that he has received a letter form Registrar Supreme Court through the Attorney General‚ in which Registrar Supreme Court has sought information about progress on implementation of National Reconciliation Ordinance. He said the Prime Minister has sent the letter to the Law Ministry and directed the Law Minister to take the cabinet into confidence on the issue. Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the Law Minister informed the cabinet that under Rule 16 of the Rules of Business‚ the matter should be forwarded to the cabinet for approval. The Law Minister said that he has directed the ministry to expedite work on the matter so that he can approve the cabinet about the legal situation. The Prime Minister directed the Law Minister to give a quick response in this connection. He said that the even a special meeting of the cabinet can be convened‚ if necessary‚ to finalize the issue. The Information Minister said that all citizens are equal and the government is abolishing all discriminatory laws. He said that the Cabinet was briefed on load-shedding situation and informed that power generation has been increased from ten thousand megawatts to thirteen thousand six hundred and fifty megawatts‚ which is quite satisfactory. Qamar Zaman Kaira said that two thousand megawatts of electricity will be added to the system by end of this year and power generation will gradually be increased to fifteen thousand megawatts. He said that the Minister for Water and Power informed the cabinet that efforts are underway to sustain the present level of power generation and further increase it. The Information Minister said that the cabinet reviewed implementation of its decisions regarding Ministries of Communication and Climate Change. He said that the Cabinet was informed that ninety percent of decisions regarding Ministry of Communication have been implemented. He said that the Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Climate Change to expedite implementation of Cabinet decisions. To a question‚ Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the general election will held on time. However‚ if the opposition wants the election to be held before the schedule‚ negotiations can be held in this connection.

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