ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet, while strongly condemning the publication of blasphemous caricatures in France and hurting the sentiments of Muslims, on Tuesday said that disrespect for the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) is intolerable and unacceptable for any Muslim. The cabinet, which met here with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, also condemned in the strongest terms the remarks of French President Emmanuel Macron that hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims. During the meeting, it was reiterated that every available forum would be used for the effective representation of the sentiments of Muslims regarding the blasphemous caricatures. In that regard, the reservations of the Pakistani nation, as well as Muslim Ummah, would be conveyed to the world through the platform of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The Ministry of National Food Security briefed the cabinet in detail about the procurement and availability of wheat. It was told that the availability of 1.5 million metric tonnes of wheat would be ensured by January 31, 2021. The Ministry of Commerce briefed the cabinet about the schedule of wheat import and told that all consignments would arrive on time. The Ministry of Industries and Production apprised the cabinet about the import and availability of sugar. It was told that 266,939 metric tonnes of sugar were available in the country at present. The cabinet was further informed that the private sector had already imported 99,639 metric tons sugar while another 52,951 metric tonnes would be available in the month of November. It was told that the required 300,000 metric tonnes of sugar would be available by November 30, 2020. The prime minister directed to formulate an organised and coordinated mechanism for timely assessment of the requirements of wheat and sugar in the country, including the needs of all provinces. He said that in order to overcome the shortages, hurdlers in the way of imports should be eliminated. He particularly stressed on ensuring the import of quality wheat. The prime minister directed the ministries to fill all vacant posts of chief executive officers (CEOs) and managing directors within three months, and submit reports in the next cabinet meeting entailing reasons for not filling the vacancies. The Establishment Division presented a detailed briefing over the vacant posts in various ministries, divisions and allied departments. It was apprised that a total of 129 posts of CEOs and managing directors had been lying vacant in the federal government institutions whereas 33 seats among them had been vacant since the merger of different departments. The relevant authorities from the Ministry of Law and Justice gave a briefing to the cabinet about reforms in the Pakistan Penal Code and other laws. The cabinet directed for presenting of the reforms’ documents before the cabinet committee on legal reforms and submission of the same before the cabinet for approval within three months. The cabinet also gave its approval for the proposed amendments in the International Civil Aviation Convention which were presented by the Ministry of Aviation. It also approved four inspection companies to pre-examine batch of imported wheat by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan. The cabinet accorded its approval over exporting animals to the Gulf countries. It also approved requests for mutual legal cooperation made by Peru, Hungry and Colombia to the Government of Pakistan. It referred to the issuance of policy matter under the Telecommunication Act, 1996, to its legal reforms committee and it would take a decision after receiving recommendations from the committee. The Ministry of Railways apprised the meeting that a comprehensive plan had been chalked out making the Pakistan Railways profitable and an autonomous body. The reorganisation steps were in line with the direction of the Supreme Court (SC). The ministries of Finance and Law and the Establishment Division had also supported the plan. The prime minister observed that the plan would help realise the ML-1 project on time, and directed for the completion of restoration and reorganisation process in the stipulated period. The cabinet ratified decisions of its Committee on Energy which were taken by the latter during its meeting on October 15 this year. It also approved the inclusion of the minister for industries and production in the Cabinet Committee on Energy. The cabinet also partially ratified the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee’s (ECC) decisions taken in its meeting on October 19, 2020. The prime minister directed the Ministry of National Food Security to formulate a comprehensive package for farmers. The cabinet approved extension in an additional charge of director-general of Civil Aviation Authority to the secretary aviation till December 31, 2020. It, however, directed for seeking candidates from the private sector through advertisement after making necessary amendments in the relevant laws under the direction of the apex court. It further said that the process should be completed within two weeks. The minister for planning gave a detailed briefing over the economic indicators. It was informed that in the current fiscal year, during July to August, the current account balance had increased to 1.2 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), which was a positive economic development. Compared with the last year, the export volume increased by 27 per cent whereas the rupee had been strengthened. During the period from July to August, Rs 1,004 billion tax had been collected which exceeded the set target. After payment of the debt, the foreign exchange reserves had witnessed a record increase which was a big success of the government. The Large Scale Manufacturing registered an increase of 3.7 per cent when compared with the last year. The cabinet also approved the constitution of National Medical and Dental Academic Board under the Pakistan Medical Commission Act, 2020. It also accorded its approval for remission in sentences in view of the holy occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (Peace Be Upon Him).