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Govt Announces a Special Cell to Investigate Those Named in Pandora Papers

Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhry has announced that a cell has been formed under the Prime Minister’s Investigation Commission to investigate the persons named in Pandora Papers.

Addressing a press conference after the federal cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Chaudhry said the investigation will encompass four categories:

  1. Offshore companies, and declared (It is no offense, nor is it illegal)
  2. Offshore companies, and not declared  (Tax evasion and fraud)
  3. Offshore companies and money laundered (to become cases of Federal Investigation Agency or National Accountability Bureau)
  4. Offshore companies, and no wealth declaration (It is also an offense)

This cell, he explained, will proceed with the probe in accordance with the categories mentioned and then the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR),  the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will take over. He was of the view that the owners of media houses named in Pandora Papers were not talking about themselves in the reportings on the Pandora Papers.

Presenting a summary of the issues discussed and decided during the cabinet meeting, the Minister said that the cabinet agreed to hold a new census, in which the latest devices would be utilized and the institutions like National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) would provide their service. He informed the media that in the last six months of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would be tasked to carry out new demarcation and delimitation of constituencies.

He stressed that the government’s aim was to bring transparency to the electoral process. “If all political forces agree to change the way we elect our representatives, we should come up with serious suggestions and bring some serious reforms in the electoral process,” he emphasized.

He said the cabinet approved the appointment of drug research experts. Alongside, a proposal from the Power Ministry, seeking to give all consumers shifting to electricity a relief of up to Rs. 7 per unit on electricity consumption, was also approved. He maintained that the decisions of ECC and cabinet committees were also approved.

Chaudhry observed that wheat, sugarcane, rice, and maize had bumper crops like the last year.

He held that the cabinet approved a proposal regarding an e-procurement system, in which all divisions and ministries were to go for e-procurement in order to bring transparency into the tender processes. He said that a three-member cabinet committee was formed to review all the power and road infrastructure contracts and to report to the cabinet.

The Information Minister said it would be better had the opposition been changing the opposition leader, bringing one not allegedly involved in corruption, money laundering, and other malpractices. He said the government was planning to bring an ordinance in consultation with the opposition in this regard. He commented that the opposition had no one available on the front rows, who was ‘neat and clean’, as they all were involved in and were facing allegations of corruption.

He said the prices of oil and gas were increased in the international market. “We have sufficient electricity, so we want to increase the use of electricity, as gas prices are going up and its availability is less. LPG is imported, while the rate of palm oil which cost US$ 500 per metric ton in 2018 has reached 1250 USD per metric ton in 2021, the minister said.

Chaudhry said the Prime Minister asked the Finance Minister to give a comprehensive graph, comparing the local and international commodity prices. He said Pakistan was importing 60 percent of pulses from New Zealand and Australia. “There is a wheat bumper crop, but our population is also increasing,” he remarked. He underlined that Pakistan procured $1.1 billion worth of COVID-19 vaccines.

To a question regarding generating 10 million jobs, as promised by PTI, the Minister said 40,000 jobs were given by the Punjab Health Department only, while 1.65 million Pakistanis went abroad to get jobs. “I will come up with a comprehensive list obtained from all government departments, as the PTI government has provided jobs to over 10 million people in just three years.|

Chaudhry asserted that Eid Milad un Nabi would be observed in the whole country, and sentences of prisoners would be reduced.

Flanked by the Minister, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan briefed the media persons, in detail, on National Medical & Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT. “We must introduce reforms… The new MDCAT is exactly what other countries are following. The new system will adhere to international standards,” he revealed.

courtesy: propakistani

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