ISLAMABAD - Terming the presidential impeachment 'historic', Federal Information Minister Sherry Rehman Wednesday said that the President would be given a right to defend himself. While giving the details of Cabinet decisions in a press conference, Information Minister told the media that the Cabinet had approved anti-dumping amendment bill under which appellate benches would be established across the country and retired judges of the Supreme Court would hear the cases. Information Minister said that the Cabinet had lifted ban on issuance of new licences for CNG stations in Balochistan as a special case. "As a policy matter, the government is not issuing new CNG licences except to those who have already imported CNG machines", she told. She said the Cabinet was informed about Prime Minister's recent visit to the United States and the most significant development during the visit was the approval of US $ 15 billion Biden-Lugar Bill by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Minister said that the aid was more than triple the current level of non-military assistance extended to Pakistan and added the Biden Lugar Bill was a success for the people of Pakistan which indicated that the US Government wanted to work directly with Pakistani people and respected February 18 mandate for a democratic order. Sherry Rehman said, "The US will also provide a major food security assistance package of over US $ 115 million responding to our short and long-term needs. The short-term assistance commits US $ 42.5 million over the next 6-9 months while long-term assistance covers an additional US $ 73 million over the next two years". Sherry Rehman said the US Secretary for Health Leavitt would visit Pakistan next week to explore areas of further cooperation in the health sector. "The two countries will hold the next Regional Economic Cooperation conference in Islamabad. The next round of the US Pakistan energy dialogue would take place to help Pakistan meet its vast and growing energy needs", she further said. She said that it was heartening to note that the government had moved a Bill to revoke amendments in the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies, and Books Registration Ordinance, (PNNABRO) in the National Assembly. "Revoking the amendments in PNNABRO is a part of the pledge made by the Prime Minister in his first speech to undo all curbs placed on the media by the decade long dictatorial rule", Sherry Rehman added. She said that the Prime Minister would launch the Benazir Bhutto Income Support Programme on Thursday (August 14). "The Rs 34 billion cash transfer would be distributed through banks and post offices. This amount would be raised to Rs 50 billion in the coming days", she told the media persons. The Minister further informed that the government was making efforts to discourage the import of non-essential goods to prevent the waste of foreign exchange reserves. "We have appointed a high-level committee to examine and identify various imported items to be taxed. While luxury goods would be taxed, the import of essential items like palm oil, wheat, pluses, etc would continue under normal taxation currently being followed by the FBR," she said. Sherry Rehman said the government was also taking various measures to reduce budget deficit to the targeted 4.7 per cent level this year and added the budget deficit had reached up to 9.5 per cent during the last year. "Due to the measures taken by the present government, it has stopped at 7 per cent level", she said and added the government was making efforts to bring it down to 4.7 per cent. "The government is moving towards achieving the tax collection target set at Rs 1.25 trillion for Fiscal Year 2008-09. Tax collection for the month of July has already exceeded the target (by Rs 2 billion), which is an encouraging sign", she stated. "The government is also looking into ways to increase the existing number of about 2.2 million tax-payers through expansion of income tax and sales tax regime. A programme of Rs 20 billion - Equity Market Opportunity Fund - (EMOF) is being launched to support the stock market. The EMOF would be channeled through National Investment Trust (NIT)", she said and added the government was committed to supporting stock market and had already extended capital gain tax exemption for further two years. She said that in pursuance of the PPP manifesto and the commitment of the government, the Cabinet had approved, in principle, the restoration of Student Unions. "The Cabinet further decided that consultation process should be initiated with all the stakeholders including the provincial governments to evolve a strategy to implement the policy in a uniform manner", the Minister added. She said that the Cabinet had also discussed the status of implementation of the recommendations of Round Table on Gender Mainstreaming organized by Planning and Development Division. "The Cabinet decided that all the relevant Ministries and Organizations should deliberate upon the recommendations and present their reports and suggestions to the Cabinet within a month", she further said. "The Cabinet has approved the federalization of provincial roads from Larkana to Lakhi, from Gharo to Keti Bundar and from Hyderabad to Khokharapar. The Cabinet directed the Ministry of Communications to ensure quality maintenance of roads, aimed at providing efficient means of transportation, which is critically needed for generating economic activities in the regions", the Information Minister said. She said that the Cabinet had ratified the agreement signed between the Governments of Pakistan and Yemen on cooperation in the field of fisheries - the cooperation is expected to boost fisheries exports from $ 200 million to a substantial scale. "The Cabinet has also ratified the statute of the Secretariat of the Conference on Interactions and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) which will be a catalyst to regional cooperation among the member countries", she stated. Sherry Rehman said that the passage of the Sindh Assembly resolution in favour of impeachment showed that all democratic forces were supporting the move against the President. She said that the three provinces - Punjab, NWFP and Sindh - had rejected the politics of dictatorship and hoped that Balochistan Assembly would also show similar results. The Minister said the Sindh Assembly passed the resolution with an absolute majority of 93-0 votes and added that the members of PML(Q) and MQM, who had been supporting the President, had now started distancing themselves and abstained from voting on the resolution. Sherry Rehman said that Co-Chairman PPP Asif Ali Zardari was a person who remained in jail for more than eleven years and he rejected a number of relief offers. "Therefore, he (Zardari) does not need any National Reconstruction Ordinance (NRO)", she added. She said that the Ministers of Pakistan Muslim league-N were effectively working with the government and "we are united" on the issues. Answering a question, the Minister said the government would send the draft charge sheet to all of its coalition partners, adding that the Cabinet was on board and no democratic forces wanted to vote against the democracy. "Peoples' court has given its verdict in favour of impeachment and all have also given their voice to support it," she remarked. The Minister said that negotiations were underway with MQM as already indicated by Co-Chairman PPP Asif Ali Zardari. She said that if the President tried to apply the black law of 58-2(B), the nation would not accept this. Replying to another question on whether President Musharraf would be given a safe passage, she said that the coalition partners would take the decision.