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ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Thursday approved placing of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

The opposition leader, who is accused of corruption in multi-billion rupees projects, has been barred from travel abroad at the request of the National Accounta­bility Bureau (NAB).

“The cabinet approved placing of Shahbaz Sharif’s name on the ECL,” Infor­mation Minister Fawad Cha­udhry told Dawn after the cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said the proposal to impose the travel ban on Shahbaz Sharif was not on the meeting’s agenda, but it was approved by the cabinet members through circulation.

PM orders nationwide crackdown on sale of adulterated milk

NAB had written a letter to the interior ministry, seeking placement of Mr Sharif’s name on the ECL.

On Feb 14, the Lahore High Court had granted bail to the PML-N president in three NAB cases. Shahbaz Sharif had sought bail in the Ashiyana housing scheme, Saaf Pani Company and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases.

The cabinet was also informed that Prime Minister’s Office had taken lead in cutting down its expenditure by Rs303 million, or 31 per cent, during the current financial year.

The savings have been made under various heads, inc­luding pay and allowan­ces, food expenses, motor veh­icle fuel and cash rewards.

While reiterating his call for maximum possible cut in the expenditure, the prime minister urged the ministers to ensure that the government’s austerity drive was implemented in letter and spirit.

The cabinet decided that the tenure of a federal secretary would be two years instead of previous three years. However, it can be extended for another year.

It was decided that in future a panel of suitable officers for posting against the slot of secretary of a ministry would be proposed by a committee headed by Prime Minister’s Adviser on Estab­lishment Mohammad Shah­zad Arbab having Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, the concerned minister-in-charge, the establishment secretary and secretary to the PM as its members.

“It was decided that normal tenure on the post would be two years. Continuation of tenure will be subject to review by the minister in charge after initial six months. It was also decided that normal tenure of two years can be extended to three years on the basis of performance review by the prime minister in consultation with the minister in charge,” said a press release issued by the PM Office.

Prime Minister Khan issued dir­ectives for a nation-wide crackdown on the sale of adulterated milk.

The meeting approved a proposal to appoint Horwath Hussain Chaudhry and Co to audit the accounts of Nat­ional Database Registration Authority for the financial year 2017-18.

The cabinet granted ex-post facto approval of a mem­orandum of understanding on industrial cooperation between the Nat­ional Development and Ref­orm Commission of China and the Federal Board of Investment of Pakistan.

The meeting ratified a decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on State Owned Enterprises in its meeting held on Jan 2.

The cabinet granted ex-post facto approval for appointments of administrator and deputy administrators of the Abandoned Properties Organisation.

The meeting approved app­ointment of Azhar Ham­eed as chairman of the Emp­loyees Old Age Benefits Institution.

It okayed a memorandum of understanding between the Yunnan Minzu University, China, and the National Unive­rsity of Modern Languages.

The cabinet ratified a visa abolition agreement with Cyprus for diplomatic and official/service passport hol­d­ers. The meeting app­roved appointment of Raja Amer Khan as chairman of the Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees.

The cabinet gave a go-ahead to appoint Justice Shahid Karim as judge of the Special Court and Justice Tahira Safdar as president of the Special Court, constituted under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976.

It approved the composition of Steering Committee for the Sustainable Develop­ment Goals Achievement Programme.

The cabinet approved a memorandum of understan­ding with the China Over­seas Ports Holdings Com­pany Limited, under the Clean Green Pakistan Movement.

The meeting decided to revise fee for various countries under the visa liberalisation regime.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2019