Tough measures taken
to stabilize economy,
decisions taken by
Cabinet announced: Shehbaz

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asserted that the federal government has taken tough decisions to stabilise the country’s economy.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

Taking to Twitter, the prime minister noted that the coalition government has taken some difficult decisions to stabilise the economy. “We didn’t care for their impact on our political capital, for doing so is in the best interest of Pakistan,” PM Shehbaz added.

“For how long will we continue to be consumed by our narrow interests at the cost of national duties?” the premier asked.

In another tweet, the prime minister reiterated that Pakistan’s economic security was deeply linked to its political stability. “Time has come for political forces and all stakeholders to rise above their narrow interests and agree on Charter of Economy,” he added.

“We need to increase our exports and reduce imports to come out of recurrent balance of payment crisis. I proposed the public-private partnership as a way of involving our private sector in the conception and execution of development projects,” he wrote.

Referring to the outcomes of the Pre-Budget Business Conference, PM Shehbaz Sharif said that he has decided to form various task forces consisting of experts and professionals belonging to IT, export, agriculture, finance sectors and food security to finalise the proposals for fast-paced implementation.

The prime minister further said that what the nation is going through right now is certainly a difficult time. “The hard decisions were necessitated by circumstances. We will sail through these times. The government has introduced austerity measures to share the burden that you are feeling,” he added.

Cabinet restores Saturday holiday

Federal cabinet on Tuesday restored Saturday as holiday, months after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif abolished it following coming to power.

The cabinet also slashed fuel quota for all government departments by 40 percent; however, no decision was reached over closure of market by 7pm.

The meeting also discussed ways to reduce load-shedding in the country as masses face up to 16 hours of power outages.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was given a briefing on ways to reduce load shedding and improve overall energy situation.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairing meeting of Federal Cabinet.

In a tweet, she said there was a shortage of installed capacity to cater to the high demand.

The minister said there were also supply chain gaps because PTI regime did not make enough fuel contracts. She said the present government was addressing these issues on emergent basis.

In other measures, the cabinet approved slashing the petrol quota of government officials and the cabinet by 40 per cent. “So while we are asking people to sacrifice, we have begun these measures with the cabinet in order to pass on as little burden to the people as possible.”

With regard to a recommendation by the power ministry to institute work-from-home policies in offices on Fridays to reduce demand for fuel and energy, Aurangzeb said the premier had formed a committee to devise a mechanism so “efficiency is not affected much and how we may benefit from it in an effective manner”.

Overseas tours banned

The Federal government on Tuesday announced its austerity measures and banned the procurement of cars, overseas tours and treatments of government officials and buying of furniture and machinery for government offices.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcast Maryam Aurangzeb along with PPP’s Qamar Zaman Kaira and JUI-F’s Amin-ul-Haq and Asad Mehmood held a press briefing after the PM’s meeting with the cabinet on Tuesday morning.

The PML-N leader said that the current power demand of the country is 28,400MW which includes 2700MW of line losses while the supply is 21,000MW.

Three powerplants including the Shanghai electric Thar and Crote powerplant had been completed but were unoperational in the PTI era. The official duration of load shedding between June 6 to 15 in the country will be three and a half hours, she added.