Text Bulletin 1500 hrs
Prime Minister has directed to provide maximum relief in electricity load shedding to the people during Ramazan-ul-Mubarak.
Finance Minister has said government holds Senate in high esteem and its recommendations on budget will be fully accommodated.
Lowari Tunnel project will be completed next month at a cost of twenty six billion rupees.
Azad Kashmir has expressed gratitude to federal government for enhancing development budget of the state.
In Occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown continued across the Valley on the second consecutive day on Monday.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has directed to ensure minimum electricity load shedding to provide relief to people in Ramazan ul Mubarak.
He was presiding over a meeting of the cabinet committee on energy in Islamabad on Monday.
The meeting was informed that by March next year an additional 9,107 MW electricity will be available in the transmission system.
The Prime Minister said the government is fully cognizant of the problems faced by masses due to power shortage and will not rest till a significant relief is provided.
Keeping in view the urgency of the situation, the Prime Minister has called another meeting of the committee on Tuesday.
Secretary Water and Power briefed the meeting that Bhikki and Haveli Bhadur Shah plants are facing normal mechanical problems in some of their turbines which are being removed.
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources briefed the committee regarding new gas pipelines being built for LNG from Karachi to Lahore.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has urged the provincial governments to show open heartedness and magnanimity for the development of Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and FATA.
Speaking in the Senate on Monday, he said a meeting will be held with provincial chief ministers after the passage of the budget on the matter. He said that revenue collection has increased significantly over the last few years and share from the divisible pool for tribal areas, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan will not affect the allocations for the federating units.
The finance minister assured that good recommendations of the house on the next budget will be fully accommodated. He reminded that more than eighty recommendations of the house were accommodated last year. He also assured that the finance ministry's teams led by joint secretaries will sit in the galleries and take the notes of recommendations.
Initiating the debate on the next year's budget, Saleem Mandviwala congratulated the Finance Minister for presenting the fifth consecutive budget. He, however, said that the budget carries nothing for the common man. He described ten percent increase in salaries and pensions as meager.
Chaudhry Tanvir described the budget as positive. He said the present government has put the country on the path to sustainable development. He said that world financial institutions are now appreciating the gains made by the country over the last four years.
Making a policy statement in the house on Monday on development expenditures, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said that infrastructure, energy and human resource development have been given priority in the new Public Sector for Development Programme work which amounts to historic one trillion rupees.
He said that four hundred and eleven billion rupees have been allocated for infrastructure and four hundred and four billion rupees for energy sector. He said in the past these two sectors were ignored which hampered the economic growth of the country.
The Minister said that the government has also enhanced the budget of higher education commission to 35.5 Billion rupees which was 12 billion rupees in 2012-13. He said massive investment is being made in the higher education in order to equip our youth with necessary skills.
He said that university campuses will be established in all the districts in the next two years.
Meanwhile, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal has stressed the need for strengthening linkages between academia and industry for human resource development.
He was addressing the National Consultative Conference on HEC Vision 2025 in Islamabad on Monday.
The Minister said Government has allocated a sum of 35.5 billion rupees for the Higher Education Commission under the annual development plan 2017-18.
Ahsan Iqbal said due to frequent lapses and political reversals in development policies in the past no agenda could yield its desired results.
He said now is the time that we must align our abilities and education system to the demands of time so that the Vision 2025 can successfully culminate and the country be ranked among top twenty economies of the world.
President Mamnoon Hussain says provision of quality treatment and essential drugs at low cost to general public is the fundamental duty of the state.
He said this while chairing meetings of Monitoring Committee on provision of essential drugs and Committee for provision of 100 percent medicines to patients at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad on Monday.
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique has said Pakistan Railways has been promoted on modern lines to provide safe, inexpensive and fast mode of travelling to the passengers.
Addressing a seminar in Lahore on Monday, he said the condition of Railways was very pathetic in 2013, but the PML-N government worked day and night to put the department on track to development.
He said that the policy of merit has been promoted in Pakistan Railways and indiscriminate action is taken against corrupt officials.
Khawaja Saad Rafique said the financial deficit of the Pakistan Railways has significantly decreased as its operations improved during the last four years.
The Minister said that Pakistan Railways is being upgraded from its own resources.
National Highway Authority has expedited work on the Lowari Tunnel on the directives of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the project will be completed next month.
Project Director Muhammad Ibrahim told APP that 94 percent work on the project has been completed.
After completion, Lowari Tunnel will provide round the clock traveling facility to the people of Chitral even during the harsh winter season.
He said the Prime Minister will be requested to inaugurate the Lowari Tunnel next month which is going to be completed at a cost of twenty six billion rupees.
Terming it a gift of Prime Minister for people of Chitral, he said PML-N government after coming to power had approved additional funds for Lowari Tunnel to ensure its completion as early as possible.
A three member bench of Supreme Court headed by Justice Aijaz Afzal is hearing a petition filed by Hussain Nawaz challenging two of the JIT members on Panama Papers Case.
The counsel of Hussain Nawaz, Khawaja Haris is submitting his arguments in the court.
All field offices of Federal Board of Revenue will observe extended working hours on Tuesday and on Wednesday to facilitate the tax payers.
The offices will remain open till 6 p.m.
Speaker, Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly Fida Muhammad Nashad says work on 40 MW Harpo Hydropower Project in Skardu will begin shortly.
In an interview with our Gilgit correspondent he said WAPDA has released funds and appointed a focal person in this regard.
Fida Muhammad Nashad said 30 MW Shagarthang Hydropower Project would be included in the Public Sector Development program of this year.
The AJK Minister for Finance, Planning and Development Dr. Najeeb Naqi has expressed profound gratitude to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Federal Government for the record increase in the annual development budget of the state.
In an interview with Radio Pakistan representative in Muzaffarabad, he said significant increase in the development budget would help complete many ongoing development projects and in launching more projects in Azad Kashmir.
Commenting on the Federal Budget 2017-18, Dr. Najeeb Naqi termed it a balanced, pro-poor, people-friendly and growth-oriented.
Replying to a question he said that Azad Jammu and Kashmir government would present its 2017-18 budget after 10th of next month.
In Occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown, marked by strict curfew and other restrictions, continued across the Kashmir Valley for the second consecutive day, on Monday.
Restrictions are imposed in Srinagar, Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama, Badgam, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Kupwara and Baramulla districts since Sunday to prevent protests against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Sabzar Ahmad Butt and his associate Faizan Ahmad in Tral on Saturday.
Call for a two-day strike was given by the joint resistance leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik.
The leadership has also called for a march towards Tral, on Tuesday, to pay tributes to Sabzar Ahmad Butt and other martyred youth.