ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Tuesday said the government will make the society weapon-free in the near future.

Chairing the federal cabinet meeting here, the premier directed the interior ministry to revalidate data regarding the issued licences.

He said that 90 days’ grace period to be given to all licence holders of prohibited weapons for registration with the National Database and Registration Authority.

“The Premier constituted a committee headed by himself with Interior Minister, Minister for Capital Administration and Development Division, Minister of State for Information and National Security Advisor as members to collate proposals of cabinet members for putting forward today and bring the agenda item again,” said an official statement issued after the meeting. The Prime Minister also directed to hold cabinet meeting every Tuesday.

The Secretary Interior earlier briefed the cabinet on laws relating to weapons’ licencing. Cabinet members discussed the proposal in detail, said the statement.

After his election as the Prime Minister this month, Abbasi had said that the government will cancel all licences of automatic weapons and keep such arms out of the reach of the common man to ensure law and order in the country.

Sources said that the PM asked the ministers to improve performance of their respective ministries. The premier said he would personally monitor the performance of the ministers on a regular basis.

Abbasi, according to a cabinet member, said the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) could only return to power in the 2018 elections if the government completed its agenda promised in the 2013 polls.

They said Abbasi told the cabinet he will run the government with the blessings of Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted under a Supreme Court’s order last month for hiding assets.

The cabinet approved ad-hoc relief in salaries for the Prime Minister, federal ministers and state ministers as suggested by the finance ministry.

An ad-hoc relief of 10 per cent increase in the basic salaries of the chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate, parliamentary secretaries and members of the National Assembly was approved.

The addition in the PM’s salary will be of Rs10,728, moreover, every federal minister and state minister will be given an additional Rs20,000 and Rs18,000, respectively.

Addressing the cabinet, PM Abbasi said that starting from November 1, 2017 load-shedding would be eliminated from the country.

The Prime Minister said that all the development and energy security initiatives had either been completed or in completion phase which speaks volumes of the development and energy security endeavours bearing fruit during the PML-N government since 2013.

The Prime Minister claimed that these initiatives of national importance started by the PML-N-led government were unmatched if compared with those planned from 1999 to 2008.

PM Abbasi said that the package which was kept for Karachi would be implemented. “If the problems of Karachi are not solved, then the problems of this country will not be solved,” he said.   

The premier said that record funds had been disbursed to the federating units under the PML-N government.

The Prime Minister apprised the cabinet about his recent visit to Karachi on last week. The Prime Minister said during the visit he announced Rs25 billion for Karachi and Rs5 billion for Hyderabad under a comprehensive package to be implemented by the federal government under the policy and administrative supervision of Governor Sindh with fixed time lines and fixed costs. 

He said under the package, one hospital and medical college for Karachi would be set up, extension of green line metro to other areas while additional resources would be provided for new water projects.

The Prime Minister said 50 fire tenders would be provided for Karachi Metropolitan Corporation while series of underpasses and bridges would be constructed to reduce the traffic mess in the port city. 

About Hyderabad package, he said one university and medical college would be established in Hyderabad while additional grant to be provided for Hyderabad Municipal Corporation besides up-gradation of infrastructure of all industrial states. These projects will be executed with in fixed time and cost and transparently, he added.

The Prime Minister also informed about the meeting he chaired during Karachi visit on law and order in the wake of recent surge in street crimes in the port city.

He said that provincial government had been asked to play its due role  in the development work in the province in general and Karachi in particular.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed all-out support from the federal government to the provincial government in the development and ensuring peace and security in Sindh. The cabinet appreciated the announcements from the Prime Minister in his Karachi visit.

He also informed the cabinet about the recent presentations given to him on Water and Power Development Authority and National Highways Authority which lasted for several hours but remained incomplete due to paucity of time.

Prime Minister Abbasi said that so much development work and energy initiatives had been taken under the PML-N government that were difficult to summarise in detailed presentations.

The PM said 43 ministries and divisions and cabinet had been formed keeping in view the size of the government.