ISLAMABAD: On Friday, prime minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the federal cabinet at the PM House.
The cabinet discussed a seven-point agenda and important decisions were taken during the meeting.
Following the meeting, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry held a detailed press conference apprising the decisions made by the cabinet.
1. Abolition of discretionary funds
The most important decision made by the cabinet was to abolish discretionary funds for ministers, MPs and the premier
Chaudhry, terming it the “most important announcement” of today’s meeting, criticised the previous government for doling out huge funds to MNAs. He said former premier Nawaz Sharif in his last year as premier used Rs21 billion as part of the discretionary funds. MPAs were given Rs30b, he said.
The government has also decided to discontinue the facility of first class travel to all ministries, who will now use club class.
2. Instructions on visits abroad
The meeting agenda also stated it will mull over ban on trips abroad by ministers. Chaudhry, however, did not expand on this.
3. Presentation on load shedding
Sources privy to development stated that a briefing by the power division highlighted that claims made by the previous government regarding load shedding being ended were incorrect. Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan are the worse hit by load shedding.
4. Special audit of mass transport system in the country
The cabinet has decided to carry out forensic audit of mass-transport projects of Multan, Islamabad, Lahore, as well as the Orange train project, started under the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government
“Billions were spent on these projects. Despite spending so much money, they still require funds to operate. If need be the [Federal Investigation Agency] FIA will be tasked to investigate this,” Chaudhry said.
Interestingly no mention of auditing for Peshawar Metro project was discussed
5. Massive tree plantation in the country
Urban tree plantation project will be launched in major cities. Details will be given next month by the environment minister. Chaudhry said this is the need of the hour, especially in Karachi due to the heatweave in the city.
6. 5 working days in a week for government offices instead of proposed 6 hours.
The cabinet had decided to continue with five-day work week, but the work hours have changed. The new work hours will be from 9am to 5pm.
7. Launch of a major cleanliness drive in the country
A taskforce has been formed to formulate plans for carrying out cleanliness drive on a major scale in the country.