Cabinet approves bill for reforms in FATA

* Bill to be placed before parliament seeks to abolish FCR and extend jurisdiction of Supreme Court and Islamabad High Court to tribal areas

Cabinet approves bill for reforms in FATA

ISLAMABAD: In a major step towards mainstreaming of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the federal cabinet on Tuesday approved placing of a bill before the parliament that seeks to extend jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Islamabad High Court to the tribal areas.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the federal cabinet with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the chair.

It was decided that after passage of the bill from the parliament, abolition of the FCR, extension of jurisdiction of the superior courts and implementation of normal laws of the country would be enforced in the tribal areas in a phased manner. This will be reinforced through a massive development effort which will be financed through allocation of additional resources from the divisible pool after concurrence of all stakeholders.

A National Implementation Committee under the prime minister has already been constituted for overseeing the political, legal, administrative and developmental mainstreaming of FATA, the cabinet was informed.

Besides, the cabinet also accorded approval to the Finance Division for laying the Annual Report of SECP for the year 2015-16 and that of Competition Commission of Pakistan for the year 2013 and 2014 in the parliament after publication in the Gazette of Pakistan.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s Annual Report for 2015-16 and state of Industry Report for 2016 were also presented before the cabinet.

The prime minister directed the ministry concerned for a comprehensive presentation to the cabinet on power generation, distribution and transmission, liabilities and recoveries and load management in the country.

The cabinet approved signing of agreement between the Government of Pakistan and the Government of Tanzania on abolition of visa for diplomatic and official passport holders. Separately, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a meeting to review trade balance and measures to boost country’s exports.

The Ministry for Commerce presented various short-term and medium-term options to increase exports and contain imports.

The prime minister directed the ministry to ensure that no option considered should have a dampening impact on Pakistan’s economic growth rate and development.

The meeting also focused on GSP Plus status and reviewed various measures to expand and deepen exports to the European markets.

The prime minister stated that he would like the Pakistani diplomatic missions abroad to serve as economic and trade ambassadors of Pakistan.

The prime minister took notice of revision of export numbers by the Bureau of Statistics and instructed that all reports should be duly verified for accuracy before public announcements. The prime minister appreciated that the overall balance of trade has improved in the month of August.



Published in Daily Times, September 13th 2017.