Drop on corruption index not due to financial corruption, claims Fawad Ch
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Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry Tuesday said that the drop in corruption ranking was not related to financial corruption.
He was briefing media regarding decisions taken in the federal cabinet that met in Islamabad on Tuesday with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.
He said the Cabinet also discussed the recent report of Transparency International that has not been published yet. It was informed that Transparency International has decreased Pakistan's score on the basis of rule of law and issues related to state capture.
Fawad said there is a need to improve rule of law as it is a constant process and every institution should play its role in this regard.
The Information Minister added that Cabinet approves amendments to criminal law.
He said the next general elections will be held on the basis of a new census for which the cabinet approved five billion rupees.
The Minister said results of the pilot survey under the Census -2022 will be revealed by the end of April or in the start of May while the whole process will be completed by the end of this year. He said after getting these results, Election Commission will start delimitation of constituencies for next general elections.
Fawad Chaudhary said the cabinet was briefed on the spread of COVID-19 in the country. It was informed that despite a spike in Corona cases only 1.5 percent increase in hospitalization was recorded which shows our health system is not overburdened with this wave.
The Minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan's successful policy of smart lockdown is being implemented again to deal with this wave.
He said the policy is being acknowledged worldwide and the even United Kingdom has decided to implement it. The Minister said it is great news that according to the Economist Pakistan is among those few countries which have returned to normalcy after the COVID-19.
The Minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to devise a mechanism for the provision of relief to overseas Pakistanis for their COVID-19 test that is compulsory before travelling abroad. He said, in this regard, a summary will be moved to ECC to devise a legal framework.
Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said the cabinet was also briefed over the increase in imports and exports of the country. It was informed that Pakistan's machinery imports have risen by 35 percent, indicating the long term expansion in Textile and other export sectors.
It was also informed that the oil and palm oil imports have put an additional burden on the economy due to an increase in their prices internationally. The country's exports have increased by 29 percent. Only textile sector have shown 88 percent increase in exports while remittances have increased by 11.3 percent, foreign exchange reserves grew from 17 billion to 24 billion dollars, tax collection rose by 32.5 percent and Foreign Direct Investment by 20 percent. He said private business credit increased by 267 percent and private sector so far received a loan of 904 billion rupees.
The Minister said Federal Cabinet has also approved amendments in Criminal Law. He said the suggested amendments will be sent to the Parliament for a legal framework. He said under new amendments courts are bound to decide a criminal case within 90 days and in case of any delay the prosecutor and the Judge will be asked to provide the reason for the delay and the responsible will be held accountable. Under this law, Police is being given the power of bail and the minimum education for the appointment of SHO will be B.A. and that person should at least be a Sub Inspector.
He said minimum indicative prices for tobacco was approved at the rate of 245 per kilogram, which will greatly benefit tobacco growers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Information Minister further said that the federal cabinet has also abolished 45% regulatory duty on the import of pine nuts (chilgoza) from Afghanistan.
He said that Shahzad Akbar was a strong man and would be replaced by an equally strong accountability advisor.