ISLAMABAD: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Friday said that former prime minister and senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had approved the contract of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) showing favouritism towards the parties involved in the contract.
Talking to media here at National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the minister said Shahid Khaqan played significant role in awarding contract to import LNG which inflicted billions of rupees loss to the national exchequer.
Sheikh Rashid said the previous government had intentionally made expensive contract to import LNG from Qatar, adding that he was ready for rendering cooperation to the NAB in this scandal.
The minister said during the tenure of the previous government of PML-N not a single advancement was made in the field of oil and gas and it just befooled the nation.
He said the contract was awarded for US $ 2,72,000 instead of US $ 1,00,000. “During the process it was shown that the agreement had been made between two countries whereas one company had been set up in Pakistan and the other in Qatar,” the minister mentioned.
Sheikh Rashid said the incumbent government was taking concrete measures to address the energy crisis prevailing in the country. So, there was no option left for the government but to increase gas tariff, he added.
“My case regarding LNG scandal is very simple and straight. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been making extraordinary efforts to improve the poor economic situation caused by the corruption of the families of Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif,” he added.
The minister underscored that he would like to remind Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari that Sheikh Rashid did not have lust for any Ministry.
To a question, Sheikh Rashid said that the nation would hear good news during this month regarding Pakistan Railways which was the cheapest source of transportation for general public.
He said that the government had formed a three members committee including Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Asad Umar, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid on Main Line-I (ML-I) project from Karachi to Peshawar.
The minister said the development work on ML-I would be started soon in three phases which was initiated 14 years ago.
Sheikh Rashid said he had already informed that there was going to be a wipe out in March which was delayed due to Pak-India tension and now it would be done
The minister said that if Asif Zardari and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif were not punished today then the nation would have to pay the price for their plundering of national exchequer.
Pakistan Post opens its rest houses for general public at cheaper rates
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Post has opened its rest houses, across the country located at attractive places for the general public and tourists at cheaper rates.
In an interview, spokesperson of Pakistan Post said that to promote tourism in the country and generate more revenue for the department the initiative has been taken on the directions of the Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed.
He said that earlier, these rest houses were being used by the officials of Pakistan Post only but now the general public could have access to those places for recreational activities, he added.
He said that the postal rest house has been divided into three categories in the category ‘A’ located in Karachi, Multan, Jhelum, Mianwali, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Nathia Gali, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Shadman Lahore, Lahore Cantt, Sialkot General Post Office (GPO), Sialkot Cantt, Faislabad GPO and Quetta, tourist would be charged Rs 3,000 per day.
However, for the rest houses fall in the category “B” including rest houses in Attock, Murree GPO, Gujrat, Sargodha, Layyah, Chitral, Abbottabad, Ayubia, Kohat, D I Khan, Mirpurkhas, Sorab, Amri, Taftan, Qallat, Muzzaffarbad, Mirpur, Kotli, Gilgit, Sust and Skardu would be charged Rs 2,200, he added.
Similarly, for rest houses in Pindi Point Murree, Saidu Sharif, Bannu, Ziarat and Sialkot Cantt, which fell in category ‘C’, per day rent of Rs 1,200 has been fixed.
IMF program to ensure sustainable, inclusive growth in Pakistan: IMF
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund on Friday said that the programme with Pakistan was aimed at improving its public finances, reducing public debt and helping Pakistan get back on the path to a sustainable and more inclusive growth.
“We hope that the programme can also create fiscal space for a substantial increase
in social spending, to strengthen social protection, as well as infrastructure and other human capital development,” Director Communication Department of the IMF, Jerry Rice said in an online press briefing.
Updating the Pakistan’s recent programme with IMF, Rice said there had been major developments recently as Pakistan and the IMF had the agreement of a $6-billion three-year extended Fund facility to support Pakistan’s economic reform efforts.
“So that happened on May the 12th. Just prior to that, Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, had met with Prime Minister Khan”, he added.
PTI Govt to present its first budget on June 11
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf led government is all set to present its first federal budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 in the parliament on Tuesday.
The finance ministry has been engaged in finalizing the budget and had been directed by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to timely complete all the budget process before its presentation on the fixed date, sources said.
The budget would have main focus on measures for reducing fiscal deficit and enhancing revenues.
Prior to the presentation of the federal budget, the government would launch the pre-budgetary document Economic Survey of Pakistan (2018-19) on Monday, June 10 to share key economic indicators and the performance of different sectors of economy during the fiscal year 2018-19, sources said.
The survey will cover the development of all the important sectors of economy, including growth and investment, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, fiscal development, money and credit, capital markets, inflation, debt and liabilities.