PM launches Shuhada Package for civil servants

Shehbaz resolves to eliminate smuggling

Our Corresondent April 26, 2024


Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday launched the Shuhada Package to support the families of the federal government officials martyred in the line of duty, comprising cash assistance, housing allowance as well as free education and medical treatment.

The prime minister, who visited the family of late Customs Inspector Syed Hasnain Ali Tirmizi, who was martyred in a firing incident in Dera Ismail Khan a few days ago, handed over a cheque under the Shuhada Package to the grieved family and assured his government’s all-out efforts for the security of the customs officials serving to purge the country of smuggling.

Offering Fateha for the martyred soul and sympathizing with the bereaved family, he said that the Shuhada Package, earlier announced by the Punjab government, had now been extended to the federal government and could be revised further considering the country’s financial position.

Under the package, the family members of a martyred sepoy would get Rs10 million cash assistance and Rs13.5 million housing allowance, besides free education and medical treatment. The family of a martyred customs inspector would be entitled to a Rs15 million cash and Rs25 million housing allowance along with free education and medical facilities.

The package will also apply to civilian officials, police, and law enforcement agencies, the prime minister said who was accompanied by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar, PML-N leaders, and senior government officers.

He said the Federal Board of Revenue, law enforcement agencies, and the interior ministry were in cohesion to curb the menace of smuggling through collaboration with the provincial institutions.

“The elimination of smuggling is as essential as the recovery of the national economy. Economic stability cannot be achieved without curbing the smuggling. This is my foremost responsibility as well as of my government,” he remarked.

He also thanked Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir, the the KP government, the provincial chief secretary, and the Inspector General of KP Police for their support in the federal government’s endeavor against smuggling so that people could use their produce and the country could earn foreign exchange through exports by legal means.

“I want to tell the federal and provincial government representatives that smuggling is our common enemy and we have to fight this out… Let us pledge not to spare any effort to curb smuggling to save billions of dollars for the national economy. If we set this goal, Allah will grant us success otherwise, we will be questioned on the day of judgment,” the prime minister remarked.

Energy reforms

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday chaired a high-level third and final meeting to review reforms in the power sector.

During the meeting, important decisions were taken about the transmission system of electricity and distribution companies.

The prime minister approved in principle reforms and restructuring of the electricity transmission system especially the reform and reorganization of the National Transmission and Despatch Company.

He formed a committee to finalize the recommendations for ensuring the implementation of reforms and reorganization in this regard.

He also set up a cell in the Prime Minister's House to ensure the implementation of reforms in the power sector. The cell would closely monitor the whole process.

He sought a report on the project of his last government which was aimed at replacing high power consumption fans with low power usage fans.

He also sought a comprehensive plan to provide low-consumption power fans to low-income consumers and another plan to provide electricity to the industrial sector at low rates.

The PM said he himself would chair the monthly review meeting on the power sector reforms. He directed that industries should be provided electricity at lower tariff to ensure economic progress and increase exports.

"Reforms are not possible in the government departments without a system of reward and punishment," he added.

During the meeting, participants were informed in detail about issues and reforms of the National Transmission and Despatch Company, and different suggestions were presented.

Recommendations were also presented regarding the power distribution companies, their losses, privatization, and outsourcing.

The meeting was also informed about tariff rationalization and power tariffs for industries and domestic consumers.

Different suggestions were put forth for the utilization of electricity for cooking by domestic consumers instead of gas.

Also, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said the government was committed to empowering youth with modern technology and providing them with the latest vocational training.
He was speaking at an event organized by the Ministry of Information Technology on the occasion of International Girls in Information Communication Technology (ICT) Day, to recognize the contribution of female entrepreneurs in the field.

He said, “It is our hope and we expect that youth will become entrepreneurs and open offices in cities like Karachi, Lahore, and in other places in Pakistan and other countries like Saudi Arabia and information technology will become the biggest foreign exchange earner for Pakistan.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday held a meeting with a delegation led by Chief Executive Officer of APM Terminals and Board Member AP Miller Mearsk Keith Svendsen and discussed matters related to business and investment.

During the meeting, Keith Svendsen expressed interest in the first green transshipment terminal of Pakistan in Karachi.


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