Cabinet okays measures to facilitate investments

Published July 27, 2023
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs the federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday. — PID photo
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs the federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday. — PID photo

ISLAMABAD: With barely two weeks left in the tenure of the federal government, the cabinet on Wednesday convened with a packed agenda and gave approval to a number of initiatives, including proposed legislation for amendments to the Investment Board Ordi­nan­ce to em­power the Special Investment Facili­tation Council (SFIC) to facilitate foreign investments.

The meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also gave its assent to the National Adaptation Plan 2023 — on the recommendation of the Ministry of Climate Change — to protect vulnerable communities from the adverse effects of climate change.

The amendment to the investment board law would lay down SFIC’s basic structure, working procedures, and cooperation mechanisms with various ministries and provincial governments — a move which would ensure the speedy implementation of foreign investment projects in the country.

“The government is implementing the whole of the government policy to promote foreign direct investment in the country,” PM Shehbaz said while presiding over the cabinet meeting.

According to the PM Office (PMO), the policy would help expedite the implementation process of the projects under foreign investment.

The cabinet also approved E-Safety Bill 2023 (E-Safety Bill 2023) on the recommendation of the Ministry of Information Technology to protect user data and prevent illegal use of information systems. This bill would combat online harassment, cyberbullying, and blackmail.

The federal cabinet also approved in principle the Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 on the recommendation of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

The federal cabinet, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Anti-Narcotics, established a ministerial committee under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Khawaja Asif to finalise the contents of the National Cannabis Policy.

In this regard, the committee will present its recommendation to the federal committee in the next meeting. The federal cabinet also approved the reorganisation of accountability courts on the recommendation of the Ministry of Law and Justice, under which 11 accountability courts would be turned into seven banking courts, two intellectual tribunals, a special court central, and a special court in Balochistan. This restructuring will not incur any additional costs.

The meeting approved the reorganisation of the board of directors of Sui Northern Gas Pipeline (SNGPL) besides approving the appointment of members of the selection committee of the Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority.

The federal cabinet gave assent to the National Adaptation Plan 2023 on the recommendation of the Ministry of Climate Change. Under the plan, the government, along with other partners, will take measures to protect climate-prone communities from the adverse effects of climate change.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Climate Change, the Federal Cabinet approved referring the Islamabad Nature Conservation and Wildlife Management Act, 2023 to the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases (CCLC) for the protection of wildlife in Islamabad.

The federal cabinet approved the inclusion and removal of names in the Exit Control List (ECL) on the recommendation of the interior minister.

Furthermore, the cabinet also approved the order that if the reason for the inclusion of the names in the passport control list and the exit control list was the same, then the name will be removed from the exit control list along with the name from the passport control list.

The cabinet also gave assent to the decisions taken in the meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee held on July 24. Similarly, the meeting endorsed the decisions taken in the meetings of the cabinet committee on legislative cases held on July 6, 7, 21, and July 25. The federal cabinet approved the decisions made by the cabinet committees on privatisation, and inter-governmental transactions separately held on July 10.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2023

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