PM refuses to approve medicine price hike
The federal cabinet on Tuesday rejected a summary from the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, which proposed an increase in the retail price of 10 medicines.
Chairing a meeting at the PM Office, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif categorically stated that he did not support the price hike on medicines.
Moreover, prime minister tasked federal ministers on Finance Miftah Ismail, Food Security Tariq Bashir Cheema, Maritime Affairs Faisal Sabzwari, Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, and Advisor on Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira, to work towards improving coordination amongst provinces on the price of wheat and distribution of urea.
With multiple items on the agenda, the cabinet took up matters pertaining to an inquiry on Hajj overbooking, mutual legal assistance with other countries, energy performance standards, legislative cases, and approval of the decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).
On an inquiry report regarding the overbooking of Hajj pilgrims, the cabinet pointed out the problems on reconciliation. The forum however, ruled out any charges of malicious intention.
The inquiry committee – that comprised representatives of finance and religious affairs ministries, and the State Bank of Pakistan, reported that the banks after the overbooking had compensated the pilgrims.
The prime minister directed the finance ministry and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to question banks over such negligence.
He also issued a directive to SBP to keep their branches in flood-affected areas, open during gazette holidays.
The cabinet approved a summary of the interior ministry to accept applications for Mutual Legal Assistance from countries which have no written agreement of legal cooperation with Pakistan.
On the recommendation of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the cabinet approved the extension of the minimum energy performance standards of electric fans up till June 30, 2023. The prime minister emphasized improving the quality of products before the new deadline.
The federal cabinet approved decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases on September 2. This included amendments in Rule-13 of Bio-Study Rules 2017, amendments in Section-15 of Emigration Ordinance 1979, and amendment in Gas (Theft Control and Recovery) Act-2016.
It also approved amendments to the service rules for the post of secretary, Evacuee Trust Property Board.
Moreover, the cabinet approved the inclusion of solar equipment, electric motors, and power transformers in the list of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA).
The federal cabinet approved decisions made by the ECC, including allocation of around Rs540 million for the Utility Stores Corporation for the provision of essential commodities in flood-hit areas.
Other ECC decisions, including allocations by PASSCO for local and imported wheat stock among recipient agencies; transfer of funds to the Afghan government on functioning, maintenance, and salaries of three Pakistani hospitals, and allocation of Rs3 billion for National Disaster Management Authority for providing relief to flood-hit people.