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ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet, in its last meeting here on Thursday, decided to leave implementation of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Asghar Khan case to the next government.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had directed the federal government to call a special session of the cabinet to determine what action would be taken against former army chief retired Gen Mirza Aslam Beg and former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani for rigging the 1990 elections against the PPP.

The sources said that the cabinet members were of the view that there was a need for a thorough review of the case in order to implement the SC’s decision in letter and spirit and it would be better to leave the matter to the next government.

According to an official handout, the cabinet approved establishment of Public Private Partnership Authority. After discussing water shortage for Kharif season crops, the cabinet approved a proposal for provision of power to the farmers operating tubewells at a flat rate for next three months.

It also approved nomination of Sher Afgan Khan, additional secretary, as the director on the board of directors of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited.

Govt withdraws decision to pay bonus to all federal employees

The reforms package for the purpose of transforming the Kashmir Council into an advisory body, as decided by the National Security Committee, was also presented before the cabinet, which accorded approval for tabling of the reforms package before the AJK Legislative Assembly.

Reduction in regulatory duty on export of copper scrap from 25 per cent to 15pc was approved by the cabinet which also decided to re-impose regulatory duty on import of cotton from July 15.

Bonus for federal govt employees Meanwhile, the government has — after criticism from the opposition at large — decided to renege on its commitment to give all employees of the federal government a bonus equivalent to their three-month basic salaries. The payment will now be restricted to a selective group of officers from specific ministries.

Former finance minister Miftah Ismail told Dawn before relinquishing charge of the ministry that the total financial impact of the honoraria was estimated at about Rs3.4 billion. The recalculated amount would be applicable to over 12,000 employees, instead of the 1.3 million according to a previous decision of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, which would have cost Rs97bn.

On May 25, the PM had approved the honoraria — as a special departing gift — to all federal government employees, which caused a storm of criticism over the massive cost. The finance ministry opposed the move and described it as a misunderstanding, which is why the note of approval from the PM’s office did not materialise into a formal notification.

Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2018