ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed to refer the OGRA recommended petroleum prices for review to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for further debate and final decision in order to pass maximum benefit to the masses.

This was stated by Prime Minister Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan shortely after the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan here.

The prime minister took the decision after through deliberation on the issue as some members sought more discussion about the highest prevailing price of hi-speed diesel in Pakistan of Rs.173.73 per liter compared to the prices in the region.

Firdous Ashiq Awan further said that the cabinet decided to observe the office timings from 10 am to 4 pm during the holy month of Ramazan to provide maximum relief to people observing fast without compromising their productivity.

She said a special committee has been assigned the responsibility to prepare a Ramazan package to provide maximum relief to the masses.

She said the committee will also make sure that no load-shedding is done during the holy month. Firdous said the cabinet was taken into confidence regarding



the proposed local government system in Punjab that will be modelled on the one already implemented successfully in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

She said the new local government system will devolve the powers at the grass-roots level and empower local people.

The Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information said the cabinet discussed in detail the five legislative bills that will help people resolve their problems as part of the people’s friendly agenda of the PTI government.

She said the Enforcement of Women Property Rights bill will ensure women get their due share in inheritance.

The amendments in Code of Civil Procedure will help decide the civil cases swiftly.

Similarly, the Succession Certificates will now be issued by NADRA and heirs can get these within a fortnight, saving their precious time and hassle.

Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the Whistle Blower Protection bill will also be introduced to provide protection to whistleblowers regarding corruption in various public institutions.

She said an anti-corporal punishment bill will also be tabled soon in the parliament to discourage the physical punishment and abuse at schools.

She said that a bill named Zainab Alert will also be introduced to stop child sexual abuse.

To a question, she said that these were public welfare bills and expressed the optimism that the opposition would support the government in their passage from National Assembly as well as Senate. However, if the Opposition decided to oppose them, they would be exposed before the general public, she added.

The cabinet also decided to hold audit of the 1300 billion rupees circular debt in order to determine who is responsible for this increase, and the facts will be presented in the next cabinet meeting.

Firdous said the previous Punjab government left a debt of 100 billion rupees, besides the bounced cheques of 80 billion rupees. However, due to good governance and austerity measures taken by the incumbent government, a saving of 100 billion rupees has been made at the federal level.

The prime minister directed to ensure that austerity steps are implemented at both federal and provincial levels.

The special assistant said the cabinet was also taken into confidence on various initiatives taken by the Task Force on Institutional Reforms in various institutions.

Firdous said the cabinet congratulated the prime minister on his successful visit to China and signing of important agreements on socio-economic development, free trade and agriculture.