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Govt mulls enhancing retirement age of its employees, Cabinet told

Ministers say reforms are being finalized in pension system, service structure: PM Shehbaz Sharif briefs ministers about Saudi delegation’s visit

By Awais Kiyani

May 7, 2024 01:19 PM


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The government has said that it is considering a proposal to enhance the retirement age of its employees and bring reforms to the pension system, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Federal Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tatar addressed a joint presser in Islamabad on Tuesday briefing the newsmen about the federal cabinet meeting.

Aurangzeb said the confidence of investors is increasing on Pakistan as a result of its march towards stability, saying the visit of Saudi delegation remained very successful. He said the Saudi delegation evinced confidence in Pakistan's economy.

The finance minister said the country is heading in the right direction. The agriculture is witnessing growth of five percent on the back of bumper crops. He said the foreign exchange reserves have exceeded nine billion dollars while inflation has reduced from 38 percent to 17 percent and it is gradually coming down.

Aurangzeb said an IMF team is expected to visit Pakistan this month during which the contours of a larger and longer loan programme will be discussed.

The minister said their focus is to ensure macro-economic stability and structural reforms.   

He emphasized the need for enhancing the tax to GDP ratio to 13 to 14 percent. He said reforms in the energy sector will be carried out and losses of state-owned enterprises will be reduced.

Aurangzeb also stressed the need for reducing expenditures. He said tax reforms are the need of the hour and work is under way on FBR’s digitalization.

Referring to the pension liability, the finance minister said service structure will be changed over a period of time to reduce its burden.

The law minister clarified that pension reforms will be across the board and will be carried out by taking the Parliament on board. He said a committee headed by the finance minister is working on these reforms.  He said pension reforms will also require legislation.

Azam Tatar said country’s economy is linked to the political stability.

To a question, the law minister said any matter relating to the interpretation of the Constitution should be done a five-judge apex court bench.

The information minister said recommendations have been sought to reduce the burden of pension. He said matters pertaining to the length of service are being discussed and there is a proposal to apply it on all the institutions. He assured that once these matters are finalized, the public will be informed accordingly.

AirSial’s international routes okayed

The federal cabinet also approved international routes of the airline, AirSial, reported 24NewsHD TV channel while quoting its sources.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, on the occasion, congratulated members of the cabinet and the people of Pakistan on the Saudi delegation’s visit to Pakistan.

The Aviation Division briefed the meeting in detail about the airline’s international routes.

Sources informed that the approval was given to the routes in line with the government’s policy on aviation.

The cabinet members also discussed the import and purchase of wheat besides exchanging views on the country’s economic situation.

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb briefed the cabinet about the economic situation.

The meeting was informed about the current status of investment by Saudi Arabia in Pakistan and the interactions of members of the Saudi delegation with the government officials during their visit to the country.

The country’s security situation also came under discussion at the meeting.

Shehbaz briefs ministers about Saudi delegation’s visit

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said that the Saudi business delegation highly praised the preparedness and confidence of the federal ministers and other government team members displayed during their visit, which augured well for the country’s future.

The prime minister, in his opening remarks at the meeting of the federal cabinet in Islamabad, told the cabinet members that during the interaction with him at a dinner reception he had hosted for them on Monday, the appreciation by the head of Saudi delegation brought him an immense pleasure for it being unprecedented.

The prime minister said he would hold a separate meeting with the cabinet members and the government officials who had put in their utmost efforts to ensure the success of the Saudi delegation’s visit.

Shehbaz told the meeting that the head of Saudi delegation, who was very intelligent and highly educated, said that during the meeting with him, the presence of the ministers, their guidance, presentations and follow-ups were a pleasant surprise and very encouraging.

The members of the Saudi delegation said that they were returning with satisfaction and pleasure and would report to the Saudi leadership that they had witnessed a new era in Pakistan.

Shehbaz congratulated the cabinet members and federal secretaries for their hard work, adding the appreciative words by the Saudi delegation made his evening as well as that of the whole of Pakistan.

 

Reporter: Awais Kiyani


Awais Kiyani


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