ISLAMABAD: The government has admitted price hike in the urban areas but described it as “imported” inflation owing to increase in oil and other commodities’ prices in the global market, adding that the situation in rural economy has been relatively better owing to a marked increase in productivity of the agriculture sector.
Briefing the media after a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, information minister Fawad Chaudhry said the meeting was informed that there was US$5.4 billion increase in foreign remittances, Rs858 billion growth in Federal Board of Revenue’s revenues—42.3 percent in two months of the on-going fiscal year— whereas, there were signs of improvement in services and agriculture sectors as well.
The minister said that foreign exchange reserves stood at $27.2 billion; however, with the increase in crude oil prices as well as other commodities, “imported inflation is a disturbance”.
He said cities or urban areas have been facing the brunt of imported inflation, whereas, the rural economy has been in a better shape following growth in agriculture production.
The minister said the meeting was also informed that exports have also been growing.
The minister said the federal cabinet has once again reiterated that excluding overseas Pakistanis from the political system would be unfair as giving them the right of vote would be an integral part of electoral reform.
Prices of essential items maintain upward trend in Peshawar
The prime minister has directed his adviser to PM Babar Awan and minister of state Ali Muhammad Khan and others to discuss with the opposition the issues relating to right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis and the use of electronic voting machine.
The minister said that 70 percent disputes arise after end of polling and before the announcement of results as this was also highlighted by the Judicial Commission constituted to probe the election rigging after 2014 elections.
He said a study of the Philippines also disclosed that in 2007 before the electronic voting machine was introduced 300 election staff members were killed in election disputes.
“We have ordered 20 machines from one company and hopefully we will be able to shift the big elections to the electronic voting machine and you will be able to see how the electronic voting system works,” he said and added that the government will welcome talks with the opposition on electoral reforms.
The minister for information said that the government would convene a joint sitting of the parliament and added that “we are fully prepared to take the agenda in the joint session and are also ready for talks with the opposition”.
The minister said the federal cabinet has also constituted a committee to identify the problems in construction of high-rise buildings, despite clear policy directives of the federal cabinet, which was not being implemented.
The minister said that there was a massive (Rs1,000 billion) difference between construction of roads by the National Highways Authority’s contracts in 2013 and 2021, and 2013 contracts were twice the price compared to 2021 cost.
Fakhar urges researchers to come up with solutions aimed at boosting agri output
The cabinet wanted suggestion how to proceed against the corruption in 2013 road contracts.
The federal cabinet approved transfer of telephone industry to the NRTC near Haripur.
All the employees’ jobs were protected.
The federal cabinet has also approved a National Action Plan for business and human rights.
The cabinet also approved POVS system of e-visa that has been expanded to 191 countries to promote tourism and business.
The minister said that 34 drugs prices have been fixed on originator brand subsequent to the high court direction.
He said a pricing committee was constituted on the directives of the high court.
Private moonsighting announcement has been banned by Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.