Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani presided over the meeting of the Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat today

Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani presided over the meeting of the Cabinet at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat today.

The Cabinet unanimously condemned the incident in Kohistan area yesterday in which 18 people were shot dead by the terrorists. The Cabinet offered fateha and prayed for the eternal peace for the deceased and extended sympathies to the bereaved families. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has directed the Minister for Interior Senator A Rehman Malik to immediately rush to Gilgit-Baltistan and help the Government to control the situation due to the abhorrent incident yesterday.

The Prime Minister gave the instructions that all assistance from the Federal Government be provided to the Gilgit-Baltistan Government. The Prime Minister issued instructions to track down the culprits of the heinous crime.

The Federal Cabinet congratulated the Prime Minister and the coalition partners on peaceful holding off By-Elections. The Cabinet expressed satisfaction that the election results manifest confidence of the people in the policies of the government.

Secretary Finance apprised the Cabinet that inflation in Pakistan is showing declining trend. However, there was a marginal increase due to the energy crisis. During the week ending on 23rd of February, 2012 there was decrease in prices of 10 items, prices of 23 items remained unchanged and increase in prices of 20 items.

Prices decreased for tomatoes, chicken, onion, LPG, potatoes, red chillies, wheat and wheat flour. Prices remained unchanged for beef, mutton, milk, cooking oil, electrical appliances, gas, kerosene oil, petrol and diesel. Prices increased for egg, vegetable ghee, tea, sugar, garlic, fresh milk, pulses and gram pulse. Increase in prices is also due to the increase in prices in international market.

The Prime Minister directed the concerned Ministries to expedite holding of Energy Conference in Lahore.

The Cabinet meeting reviewed the implementation status of Cabinet decisions pertaining to Narcotics Control, Petroleum and Natural Resources and Professional and Technical Training Divisions. The Cabinet was informed that 88% decisions pertaining to Narcotics Control Division and 82% to Petroleum have been implemented. The decisions pertaining to Professional and Technical Training are being implemented.

The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval, in principle, for negotiating the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Academic Research and Cooperative Activities between Switzerland and Pakistan.

The MoU will be helpful in enhancing relationship between National Defence University (NDU) of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), Switzerland. The over-arching principle of this MoU is that any activity must be based on mutual respect, equality, and be mutually beneficial.

The Cabinet considered and accorded its approval, in principle, to initiate negotiations on Memorandum of Understanding between Pakistan and Mauritius in the fields of health and medicine. The proposed MoU will provide opportunity for Pakistan’s doctors and medical professionals to seek employment in Mauritius. It will also enhance bilateral cooperation in pharmaceutical sector and exchange of experts in order to realize short term trainings, improvement of professional skills and consultancy in health sector.

The Cabinet considered and gave its approval to Start Negotiations and Sign Pak-Turkmen Media Cooperation Agreement.

The Cabinet considered and gave its approval for Amendment Bill of the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), 2011. Under this Amendment, Engineer-in-Chief of Pak Army will become Member of the Governing Body of Pakistan Engineering Council.

In line with WTO trading arrangement, Cabinet approved unanimously to move from positive to negative list of items for trade with India. The Cabinet also decided in principle to phase out the negative list between Pakistan and India by December 20, 2012. After that the process of trade normalization between the two countries will be completed.

The Cabinet also appreciated monetization of transport Policy and emphasized that the Policy should be implemented in letter and spirit.

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