Cabinet snubs 10% ad hoc relief to MPs

Meeting also decides to introduce reforms in criminal justice system


Our Correspondent September 14, 2021
Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs meeting of the federal cabinet held in Islamabad on March 16, 2021. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD:

The federal cabinet on Tuesday rejected the proposal of a 10% ad hoc relief in the basic salaries of the Senate chairman, National Assembly speaker, their deputies and parliamentarians.

It also decided to introduce comprehensive reforms in the “obsolete and outdated” criminal justice system in the country.

At post-cabinet briefing, Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan had rejected the proposal as part of the premier’s austerity drive.

“It is being implemented since day one. The PM’s House made huge savings and the National Assembly saved Rs1.54 billion and returned it to the government,” he added.

He said the cabinet was of the view that the proposal of a 10% ad hoc relief was in violation of the austerity principle.

Read MNAs ‘cannot make ends meet’ on their salary

“The decision is meant to show the nation that the people in the corridors of power are setting an example for others to save national wealth.”

Fawad said Law Minister Farogh Naseem had given the cabinet a detailed briefing on a proposed law that would entirely revamp the criminal justice system.

“The reforms will fulfill the prime minister’s agenda to ensure timely justice.”

The information minister said the focus of reforms would be inexpensive and timely provision of justice besides ending delay in trial and hurdles in registration of FIRs.

“The matter would be discussed in the Cabinet Committee on Law and Justice and implemented after that.”

The minister said the cabinet had allowed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to hire services for making its data more secure following a cyber-attack on August 14 this year.

“Hackers had attacked the website of the FBR, but most of its data remained safe. An operational emergency was declared to secure its data.

Fawad said the cabinet was informed that this year, there were about a million cyber-attacks on Pakistani websites that were thwarted by the National Telecom Company.

He added that The Guardian, a British newspaper, had also reported that India, along with an Israeli company, had tried to hack the data of Pakistan's important mobile phones, including that of the prime minister.

Fawad said the science and technology ministry briefed the cabinet on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the right of overseas Pakistanis to vote.

Read more Salary cuts to pay for K-P employee pensions

The minister said the information technology ministry would launch 5G technology in the country from next year in which multiple companies had already shown interest.

The cabinet has also given the nod to the setting up of the Quaid-e-Azam Foundation.

On the proposal of the tariff policy board, the cabinet approved reduction in additional customs duty on automobile parts from 7% to 2% percent to promote local production of vehicles.

The minister said additional customs duty on heavy commercial vehicles had also been reduced from 7% to 2%.

He added that the prices of 1000 cc and below cars would fall after the abolishment of additional duty on their equipment.

In addition, Fawad said, the appointment and transfer of the Bureau of Immigration and Overseas Employment Protector of Immigrants was approved.

(With input from APP)

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