On the recommendation of the ministerial inquiry committee led by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz, the federal cabinet on Tuesday constituted a committee headed by a former judge of the Supreme Court or high court to investigate the Broadsheet scandal, fix the responsibility on those who illegally benefitted, and submit its report within 45 days. Addressing a press conference flanked by Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, Senator Shibli Faraz said the committee would comprise one representative each of Federal Investigation Agency and Attorney General of Pakistan, besides a senior advocate to be nominated by the prime minister. He said the Broadsheet verdict was based on facts about the corruption stories of previous rulers. It contained the details of corruption of loot and plunder committed before year 2000, but another inquiry is required to look into the wrongdoings done after year 2000, he added. Shibli Faraz said the former rulers fully benefitted from the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) and again went on the looting spree of national wealth sans any remorse and shame. The leaders of opposition parties, while in power, misappropriated the national exchequer time and again, he said, adding they had unfortunately gathered under the umbrella of Pakistan Democratic Movement to seek another NRO. To a question, Shibli Faraz said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government (PTI) had not unearthed the hidden properties of the Sharif family. The Broadsheet, an impartial asset recovery firm which had no grudge against the Sharifs, had exposed their hidden assets. The minister said the government was only interested in bringing back the looted and plundered money stashed abroad, and it would action against the corrupt irrespective of their party affiliations. Surrey Palace, Swiss accounts, Omni case, fake bank accounts case, all are on the radar of the committee, he replied to a questioner. The federal cabinet, under the second schedule of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, approved tax exemption on the profits gained through Euro Bonds, dealings in International Sukuk issued under the government’s medium term notes and Panda Bonds, issued in the Chinese market. The cabinet also gave a go-ahead to the Ministry of National Health Services and Regulation to directly make a five-year agreement with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for data verification of Sehat Sahulat Programme. The meeting was briefed in detail about the measures taken during the last six months with respect to civil service reforms. It was told that civil reforms had been done in the decades’ old rules in line with the current era requirements, transparency, performance and accountability. It was further told that the civil service reforms had been done keeping in view the timelines and results, and identifying the complications of previous rules relating to discipline, performance, promotions, retirement and other issues. About amendments in PPRA (Public Procurement Regulatory Authority) Rules, the cabinet was told that besides detailed explanation of the rules, quality, facilitation of public and private sectors and high international standards had been taken care of in the amendments. The prime minister while appreciating the measures taken regarding the civil service reforms and amendments in the PPRA Rules, said the ministries and divisions, in line with the reforms, should take steps regarding improved performance of the ministries and further ensuring the ‘ease of doing business’. The cabinet, under the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules 2013, approved the appointment of Ali Mehdi as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pakistan Development Fund Limited. It also approved six months’ extension in the implementation of Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act 1952 on all levels of employment under the administrative control of Pakistan Petroleum Limited. The cabinet approved the grant of financial award for the members of core committee constituted under the Power Division for their services towards saving the country from big financial loss in the light of investigations in Rental Power Project case. It also approved the nomination of members of Karachi Dock Labour Board under the Ministry of Maritime Affairs. The constitution of the Board of Directors of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company under the Power Division was also approved by the cabinet. The meeting endorsed, in the light of few directions, the decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee for Law Cases during its meeting held on January 7, 2021; by Cabinet Committee for Energy during its meetings held on January 7 & 14, 2021; and by Cabinet Committee for Institutional Reforms during its meeting held on December 31, 2020.