ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet was on Tuesday briefed on the introduction of electronic voting machines and giving voting rights to overseas Pakistanis.

The Cabinet was informed that all stakeholders including the opposition are being consulted in this regard. Addressing the meeting, the Prime Minister said that overseas Pakistanis are the most valuable asset of the country. Electronic Voting Machines as well as ensuring that overseas Pakistanis are given the right to vote is one of the top priorities of the present government. He said electronic voting machines are of key importance to ensure transparency of the electoral process.

The Cabinet was informed that the cost on motorways constructed in 2013 was found to be several times higher than the present cost. Aviation Division briefed Cabinet on civil aviation laws relating to high rise buildings in urban areas.

The Cabinet directed that the rules and regulations for high rise buildings be finalized for which the 4-member Ministerial Committee will review international models and submit a report to the Cabinet. In order to revive the Telephone Industry of Pakistan and adapt to modern requirements, the Cabinet approved the government to bring the Telephone Industry of Pakistan under the control of National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation.

Cabinet approved proposed National Action Plan for Protection of Business and Human Rights. The action plan has been set up after two years consultation with all stakeholders. The action plan consists of 69 goals with following priority areas, – Financial Transparency and Human Rights in Public Procurement Contract – Anti-Discrimination, Equal opportunity and Inclusion – Human Rights due diligence – Labor Standards and Informal Economy – Child Labor – Forced or Bonded Labor – Occupational Health and Safety – Access to Remedy *Cabinet approves obtaining Pakistani visa on Pakistan Online Visa System for 191 countries. Earlier, only 50 countries had this facility. This initiative will boost investment and tourism in Pakistan. *Cabinet approved resignation of Karachi Port Trust Board Member Mahmood Baqi Maulvi and appointment of Saud Azim Hashmi as board member in his place.

As per the directions of the Supreme Court and the recommendations of the Drug Pricing Committee, the Cabinet approved fixing of prices of 34 medicines. *Cabinet approved assistance to Indonesia in view of COVID-19 outbreak. The assistance includes 20 ventilators, 50,000 face masks, 10,000 surgical gowns, 15,000 protection suits, 10,000 special gloves and 20,000 surgical caps. *Cabinet approved reorganization of Board of Directors of Power Information Technology Company.

Cabinet approved rules regarding Ruit e Hilal. The main points include setting up of committees at the Federal, Provincial and District levels, these committees include Meteorological Department, SUPARCO, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Religious Affairs and penalties for unverified reporting of the Moon Sighting. Only the Federal Ruit e Hilal Committee will have the mandate to announce the Moon sighting.

Decisions taken by the Economic Coordination Committee in the meeting held on 23september 2021 were also ratified. The decisions taken by the Committee on Institutional Reforms in the meeting held on 9th September 2021 were also ratified. * Decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Energy in the meeting held on 13th and 17th September, 2021 were also ratified. Decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Legislation in the Meeting of 23 September 2021 were also ratified.