June 3, 2020: The Federal Cabinet has approved the export of locally manufactured personal protective equipment, including sanitizers and other things.
The cabinet granted this approval in its meeting held in Islamabad yesterday with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.
The meeting also decided that a committee comprising members from ministries of commerce, health, industrial production and science and technologies will be authorized to ban the export of any particular item keeping in view the domestic needs of the country.
The Federal Cabinet also emphasized creating public awareness to strictly observe standard operating procedures issued by the government to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
It expressed satisfaction over the increasing number of laboratories for Corona tests from two to one 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 the Resource Management System for the effective utilization of available resources and health facilities in the country.
The cabinet was informed on the latest situation of locust in the country and steps taken in this regard.
It appreciated the role of Pakistan Army National Disaster Management Authority, the Chinese Government and other national and international organizations for the eradication of locust.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said all available resources will be provided to curb locust and emphasized finding some out of the box solution to this problem.
The cabinet was apprised that Asian Development Bank has appreciated Pakistan's strategy and steps taken for poverty alleviation and protecting weaker segments of society from negative impacts of Coronavirus pandemic.
Appreciating the government's decision of reducing oil prices in the country, the cabinet decided that the benefits of this relief should be passed on to the masses.
The meeting was also informed that foreign remittances worth 18.8 billion dollars were received during the current fiscal year, while the country's foreign exchange reserves were recorded at 18.7 billion dollars till the end of April this year.
It was said that the current account deficit during the current fiscal year remained at 3.3 billion dollars, which is 1.5 percent of GDP.
This deficit was at 11.4 billion dollars during the last fiscal year, which was 4.7 percent of the GDP.
Exports were recorded at 16.4 billion dollars, while imports stood at 19.7 billion dollars showing a service trade balance of 2.6 billion dollars.
Regarding investment in the country, the cabinet was apprised that a total of 1.864 billion dollars were invested during the current fiscal year, while it was just 403 million dollars last year. The policy rate was slashed from13.25 to eight percent.
The cabinet was also briefed on future strategy regarding the sugar inquiry report.
The Prime Minister said that the purpose of the inquiry was to reveal facts, which caused a surge in sugar prices affecting the common people of Pakistan.
He said, keeping in view the inquiry report, steps will be taken to rectify weaknesses of the prevailing system.
The meeting decided that an inter-ministerial committee will be constituted to review various aspects in light of the findings of the inquiry report.
The committee will be mandated to give recommendations for comprehensive reforms to fill the loopholes.
Imran Khan directed that such steps are aimed at protecting the common man from exploitation through the unnecessary burden of a price hike.
The cabinet was given a detailed briefing over wheat procurement and estimates of demand and supply of the commodity.
It was decided to form a high-level committee to maintain a balance between demand and supply so that there will be no shortage of wheat and flour in any part of the country.
The committee, in collaboration with flour mills, will give its recommendations in this regard.
Turning to another issue, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the secretary interior to present recommendations of the task force to curb smuggling.
Regarding the government's efforts to revamp the economy, the Prime Minister said that process of economic stability and reforms will continue without any interruption.
He directed the cabinet members to reduce unnecessary expenditures in their respective departments and ministries keeping in view the current economic situation.
He also emphasized giving a special focus on expediting the process of reforms and improving the performance of government.