PESHAWAR   -  In a landmark decision, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cabinet on Friday approved increase in retirement age of the government employees from 60 to 63 years, in a bid to making Rs 24 billion saving per annum.

Chief Minister Mehmood Khan chaired the meeting of provincial Cabinet.

Outlining the silent feature of the meeting, the Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai told the media men in a Press briefing that retirement age for government employees in education and health sector in India was 65 years whereas it was 65 in European countries and Brazil, 62 in Japan and 67 in US.

He informed that under Article 240(b), the provincial government has the power to enact legislation from the provincial legislature to this effect.

He recalled that initially in Civil Servant Act 1973, the retirement age for government employees was 50 which was later enhanced to 60 and enforced from last 35 years.

The life expectancy in Pakistan has increased to 63 years in 2018 from 55 in 1973, he said, adding each year around 5000 employees reached the age of superannuation where the ratio of premature retirement is also around 50/50.

Therefore, the number of employees attaining the age of 60 has reached to 2500 which cost Rs6 billion to the provincial kitty.

Information Minister informed newsmen that during Cabinet meeting KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan expressed grave concern over non implementation of ban use of plastic bags in the province.

The Chief Minister gave deadline of 15 days and directed the Chief Secretary to ensure full implementation of ban on use of plastic bags.

He said that the government has ordered ban on polythene bags, but implementation was not visible.

The provincial Cabinet also approved compensation package for affectees of Mir Ali (North-Waziristan) Bazaar where shops were razed during military operation against terrorists.

The provincial Cabinet also approved leave policy for projects employees in the province. It was decided that projects employees can avail 15 days casual leave per year and 45 days earned leave.

The competent authority can grant 5 days casual leave to his subordinate staff.

In response to demand of KP Mineral Department seeking financial support, KP CM sought the report based on genuine reasons.

The provincial Cabinet also sought re-holding of meeting of task force constituted in response to suo-moto action of Supreme Court on increasing population in the country.

During the meeting, the Population Department presented suggestions of required finances of Rs 3199.960 million for implementation of Population Action Plan with consultation of other related departments, which was approved by provincial Cabinet.

The Cabinet held discussion and gave approval to request of Peshawar High Court regarding conversion of old records since 1901 into soft files and disposing off of old files and papers.

The provincial Cabinet also approved presenting two resolutions in Provincial Assembly under Article-144 of the Constitution regarding Christian Marriage (Amendment) Bill-2018 and Divorce Amendment Bill-2018.

The decision was taken in wake of request from federal government for brining amendments in Divorce Act-1826 and Christian Marriage Act-1872.

Regarding establishment of provincial and district level Ulema & Mashaikh Councils, the Ministry of Religious affairs intending to constitute a law with name of National Ulema & Mashaikh Act-2019.

For the purpose resolution under Article-144 of the Constitution before Provincial Assembly has been approved by the provincial Cabinet.

Similarly, supplementary grant of Rs510 for establishment of Nowshera Medical College has been conditionally approved by the provincial Cabinet.

The provincial Cabinet also approved amendment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Journalist Welfare Endowment Fund (Amendment) Act-2014 to provide medical facilities among needy journalists in the province.

To overcome life and property losses, KP Relief Department has presented Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Defense Fire Safety Order 2019 which was approved by the provincial Cabinet.

The Cabinet also approved appointment of Chief Executive Officer KP Board of Investment (BoI).

The Cabinet approved appointment of Hassan Daud Butt as CEO BOI for a period of three years with probation period of one year.

The Cabinet also approved suspension of all Zakat Councils in the province.

The decision has been taken to streamline Zakat distribution in the merged districts as per rules being followed in other parts of the province.