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Cabinet rolls out new policy to promote aviation and related industries

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday approved the new aviation policy which aimed at promoting aviation and related industries in the country, ARY News reported.

Federal Information Minister, while addressing a media briefing in Islamabad after the cabinet meeting, said that as per the new policy, passenger aircraft up to 18 years old could be improved.

The cap was previously at 12 years. The cabinet also permitted the importing of cargo planes up to 30 years old.

“We have ended ‘Open skies’ policy and agreements will international airlines will be reviewed,” he announced. He also said that domestic travelling was still ‘very expensive’ in Pakistan.

“Cabinet has also approved duration of transaction privilege tax (TPT) licence up to two years, whereas, licences for pilots would need to be renewed after five years,” Fawad said.

Tourism Promotion 

Talking about the government’s efforts to promote tourism, Chaudhry highlighted that Prime Minister Imran Khan was paying special attention to promoting tourism in Pakistan. “The country will provide visa-on-arrival facilities for 120 countries,” he announced.

The minister said that e-visa facility was already available for five countries including the United Kingdom (UK), China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The government has recently lifted the restriction of a mandatory No-Objection Certificate (NOC) required of foreigner tourists for visiting some areas of the country”, he informed.

Kartarpur Corridor

“Kartarpur Corridor will be opened in November [this year]; a 10-member Parbandhak Committee has been formed for the passageway,” said the information minister.

PM Imran Khan issued directives to Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Lahore Development Authority (LDA) for taking measures to stop expansion of cities by constructing vertical buildings, the minister said.

He added that the restriction of no-objection certificate has been lifted for construction of multi-storey buildings in the trade centre and blue area.

Wonder if we can call it ‘a bail’: Fawad 

Commenting over bail to jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif, Chaudhry said that the Supreme Court (SC) had granted a six-week bail to Nawaz Sharif today.

“I don’t know whether the word ‘bail’ for Nawaz Sharif is appropriate or not”, he said.

The minister said: “We respect court orders,” adding that travel restrictions against the former premier to prevent him from leaving the country was a ‘good decision’.

“It is [now] proven that Nawaz Sharif is suffering only from mental stress, not any ailment,” he said.

Chaudhry announced that the government will challenge the verdict of the Lahore High Court (LHC) for removing Shehbaz Sharif’s name from Exit Control List (ECL).

PPP’s ‘Train March’ 

While criticising Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership, Chaudhry said it was for the first time in the history that the PPP had to pay money to the government, as it had to purchase tickets for its ‘train march’. “Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has purchased 300 tickets for his train march”, he said.

Read More: Nawaz Sharif granted bail on medical grounds

He slammed the Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, saying that the politician was demanding an increase in the share of his province but wondered where would the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award funds be spent.

He alleged that even the Chief Minister Sindh and Speaker Sindh Assembly were involved in corruption while their ‘front-men’ were holding front seats in the PPP-led provincial government.

He added that both the opposition parties had included persons nominated in corruption cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)

Earlier in the day, PM Imran Khan had chaired a meeting of the federal cabinet to discuss the country’s economic and political situation.

The cabinet took up a 20-point agenda. The prime minister briefed the cabinet members regarding Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s three-day visit of Pakistan.

Finance Minister Asad Umar also apprised the cabinet about agreements signed with Malaysian officials during PM Mohamad’s trip.

The cabinet also discussed progress on the extension of New Delhi bus service.

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