ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan, while chairing a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, said the government held an inquiry on the sugar scam to unveil evidences and elements responsible for surging price of sugar in Pakistan.

In accordance of the findings of the sugar inquiry report, the government will close all subsequent loopholes in the system.

The cabinet meeting decided that an inter-ministerial committee will be constituted which will review the sugar scam report and recommend proposals and reforms for an effective mechanism relating to regulators to filter all possibilities of kickbacks and corruption in the system.

The Prime Minister underlined that all these undertakings are being made to make ensure that in future, no one could exploit the public through unregulated prices.

The federal cabinet was also briefed in detail on the present status of wheat purchased by the provinces and subsequent estimated balance of demand and supply to provinces.

The meeting decided that arrangements should be made in an effective way so that scarcity of wheat could not develop in any part of the country.

To ensure balance within the demand and supply of wheat within provinces, a high level committee will also be constituted, which will be tasked to suggest proposals and reforms following consultation with flour mills to address relevant issues.

Imran Khan also instructed Secretary Interior to submit recommendations to establish a taskforce to contain smuggling and effective mechanism to keep check on smuggling mafias.

The Cabinet meeting was also briefed on the prevailing status of the coronavirus pandemic and preventive measures on part of the government to contain this pandemic. The meeting decided that SOPs should be strictly implemented relating to public transport, markets and industries in the country.

The Cabinet has approved the export of locally manufactured personal protective equipment, including sanitizers.

The meeting also decided that a committee comprising members from ministries of Commerce, Health, Industrial Production, and Science and Technologies will be authorised to ban export of any particular item keeping in view domestic needs of the country.

The Cabinet also emphasized on creating public awareness to strictly observe SOPs issued by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

It expressed satisfaction over increasing number of laboratories for testing from two to two hundred. The cabinet was informed that testing capacity has been enhanced to 32,000 tests per day, which was just four hundred tests at the initial stage.

The meeting also expressed satisfaction over the working of Resource Management System for effective utilisation of available resources and health facilities in the country.

The Cabinet was informed on the latest situation regarding locust swarms in the country and steps taken in this regard.

It appreciated the role of Pakistan Army National Disaster Management Authority, Chinese Government and other national and international organisations for the eradication of locust.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that all available resources will be provided to curb locusts and emphasised on finding some out of the box solution to this problem.

The Cabinet meeting approved appointment of Ms. Lubna Farooq Malik as Director General Financial Monitoring Unit. It also approved the implementation of Essential Services Act 1952 regarding Unity Stores Corporation.

The Cabinet further approved the appointment of Shakeel Ahmed Mangnijo as Chairman Pakistan National Shipping Corporation till December 2020, as well as the appointment of Masood Bani as Managing Director Government Holdings Private Limited.

It also granted an additional charge of Central Power Purchasing Agency to Wasim Mukhtar (Addl Secretary Power Division).

Minister for Planning briefed the cabinet meeting in detail on exports of the country in wake of coronavirus pandemic, which witnessed a sheer reduction of 54 percent; however in the month of May 2020, this ratio improved to 34 percent.

The cabinet also informed that in view of remittances during 2019-20, a total of 18.8 billion dollars received in Pakistan and during the month of April 2020, the volume of Foreign Exchange Reserve in Pakistan remained at 18.7 billion Dollars.

In view of fiscal sector, the cabinet meeting was informed that during coronavirus pandemic, the receipts of FBR have been affected.

The Prime Minister resolved that economic reforms process will be continued in the country and all ministries and departments will be advised to cut their expenditures.