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Cabinet allows balloting for 50% quota of Hajj pilgrims for 2018

Lahore : The Federal Cabinet on Wednesday allowed the Ministry of Religious Affairs to carry out Hajj balloting for 50% of the total quota of Haj pilgrims for 2018 immediately.

The cabinet took this decision after reviewing current state of legal proceedings and the need to communicate maximum number of Hajj pilgrims to Saudi authorities before March 3, 2018 for finalizing flight schedules.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired the federal cabinet meeting held here at the PM Office. Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs briefed the meeting on progress into arrangement for Hajj 2018.

The Cabinet also directed the ministry to request Islamabad High Court for early finalization of legal proceedings as all the pending petitions had been referred to IHC by the Supreme Court in the last hearing.

The Cabinet considered Inquiry Report into corruption charges in the Kachhi Canal project. It was decided to constitute a Committee headed by the Minister for Water Resources for suggesting implementation mechanism of the findings of the report.

The Cabinet approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination and American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Inter-Provincial Coordination with a proviso that performance report of the Institute for last five years be presented before the Cabinet.

The Cabinet approved applicability of Islamabad Rent Restriction Ordinance, 2001 to Zone V of Islamabad and directed Interior Ministry to review the law.

It also directed Interior Ministry to place the case before the next meeting of the Cabinet for applicability of law in the remaining areas of Islamabad. A Committee for this purpose was also constituted under Special Assistant to PM on Law Barrister Zafarullah Khan with Secretary Interior, Chairman CDA, Chief Commissioner Islamabad and other stakeholders.

Rejecting a proposal for increase in the prices of CNICs of specified categories, the Cabinet directed Ministry of Interior and Chairman NADRA to review the proposal for the purpose of rationalization of cost of CNICs.

Appointment of Ms. Aalia Neelum as Judge Special Appellate Court under Section 46(1) of the Prevention of Smuggling Act, 1977, was approved.

Regarding the appointment of Chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board in compliance of the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Cabinet directed Ministry of Religious Affairs to expedite framing of relevant rules in the light of directions of the Hon. Court.

In the meantime, the Cabinet approved a proposal for grant of additional charge of ETPB to Muhammad Ashraf Lanjaar, Senior Joint Secretary of the Ministry till regular appointment is made. The meeting also discussed Report of the Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo on the naming of Islamabad International Airport. It was decided to name the new airport as “Islamabad International Airport”.

The Cabinet granted approval to notification for declaration of Islamabad International Airport as an “Airport”. Appointment of S. A. Manan as Chairman Board of Management of Pakistan State Oil Company Limited (PSOCL) was also approved.

The Cabinet also approved execution of various development schemes prepared by the Cabinet Committee.

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