ISLAMABAD:The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday approved issuance of the Ijara Sukuk bonds in the domestic and international markets to support the government’s budgetary position and promote Islamic banking industry in the country.
Addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal said the information regarding assets and other details about the programme would be available on the website of Finance Division soon.
Flanked by PM’s Advisor on Kashmir Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira, he said the cabinet also discussed the matter of shortage of edible oil in the country and acknowledged the efforts of minister for industries and his team for setting sail an edible oil ship from Indonesia for Pakistan.
He said the prime minister thanked the Indonesian president, and congratulated the industries minister, who went to Indonesia himself and talked to the Indonesian president in that regard.
As regards the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar briefed the cabinet that Pakistan had met all the requirements of the FATF and hoped that soon after the visit of FATF team to Pakistan, the country would be out of the grey list.
The cabinet observed that after coming out of the grey list, international trade and other restrictions would be completely eased out and Pakistan would be able to expand its trade across the world.
It was informed that in 2019, the army chief had formed a core cell, which played a vital role in coordinating the institutional and ministerial efforts to complete the FATF’s action plans.
The cabinet observed that while sitting in the opposition, the present coalition government parties also played a key role in the legislation process regarding the FATF matters.
The prime minister directed all his cabinet members to acknowledge and praise all the institution concerned as it was not possible without collective efforts.
As regards the Urea fertilizer, the prime minister directed to ensure its supply to the farmers on priority, and if there was any shortage, efforts should be expedited to import the fertilizer from the friendly countries, especially China.
The PM observed that the world over, all the supply chains of commodities such as wheat, coal, and oil were badly disrupted due to the Ukraine-Russia war. He, however, expressed the resolve that government would take timely actions to avoid any disruption in the supply chains in Pakistan.
Ahsan Iqbal said on the recommendation of Commerce Ministry, the cabinet formed a committee to review the Trade Organization Act, 2013, which would be comprised of the commerce minister as its convener, and ministers for aviation, railways and industries as its members.
On the recommendation of Health Ministry, the minister said the cabinet also approved reduction in the price of the Remdesivir injection, which is used for the COVID patients, from Rs 2,308 to Rs 1,892.
He said the Health Ministry informed the meeting that it would come up with more recommendations to reduce the prices of more essential medicines.
The cabinet also reviewed the GSP Plus agreement, that was singed in 2013 and under which Pakistan had got the facility for ten years in exports to the European Union countries.
The meeting was also briefed on the key elements of proposed new EU GSP (2024-2034). It was informed that all the ministers concerned were in contact with the EU authorities.
The cabinet expressed its satisfaction that almost all political parties had their representation in the current coalition government, therefore, meeting all the conditions required for the GSP Plus agreement would be more easy.
The prime minister directed all the relevant ministries to ensure timely inking of the agreement for EUGSP (2024-34).
The planning minister said the meeting also discussed the tough decisions being taken in the wake of ongoing economic situation in the country. He said the PTI government had knowingly avoided to take tough decisions and put the economy on the verge of collapse.
He said the current government was committed to revive the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and attract foreign investment that would help put the country on the path of progress and development.