ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk Wednesday said that holding the general election on time – July 25 - was the prime target of the caretaker government.

Chairing his first federal cabinet meeting here, Mulk said that all preparations should be completed before the polls.

A federal minister told The Nation that the PM and the ministers discussed the holding of free and fair elections. “The PM tasked all the ministers to work hard to complete their assignments in time,” said the minister.

On June 5, a six- member caretaker cabinet took oath. Abdullah Hussain Haroon took over as the caretaker Foreign Minister of Pakistan. Haroon will also look after the National Food Security, defence and defence production. Shamshad Akhtar has been made minister for finance, statistics and planning and development.  Additional charge of ministry of commerce and Industries and production has also been given to her.

Azam Khan has been handed over the portfolio of ministries of Interior, and Narcotics and Capital Administration and Development Division. Additional Charge of inter provincial coordination has also been given to him. Syed Ali Zafar has been assigned the portfolio of Ministry of Law and Justice, Parliamentary Affairs and Information and Broadcasting. Muhammad Yousaf Sheikh has been given the ministries of health, education and religious affairs. Roshan Khurshid has been assigned the portfolios of human rights, SAFRON and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Affairs.

An official statement issued after the cabinet meeting said Secretary Interior gave a detailed briefing to the cabinet about the functions of the ministry and its various attached departments.

“He also briefed the meeting on various legislative and administrative policy initiatives taken for ensuring internal security and law and order in the country,” it said.

The statement said the Interior Secretary also briefed the cabinet on various measures being taken by the Interior Ministry to assist the Election Commission of Pakistan and the provincial governments for holding free, fair and peaceful elections.

Dr Shamshad, Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, gave an overview of the economy and the present situation of various economic indicators.

While noting satisfactory GDP growth rate of around 6 per cent, the cabinet underscored the need for taking immediate measures within the mandate of the caretaker government to address certain issues related to balance of payment, fiscal and debt sustainability and better management of public sector enterprises.

The caretaker prime minister directed the Finance Division to formulate a comprehensive strategy containing immediate measures as well as a blueprint of long term structural reform package for the consideration of the incoming elected government.