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Jump-start of special economic zones govt’s top priority: development minister

ISLAMABAD: While highlighting the focus of the government, Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms (PD&R) Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar on Tuesday said it was top priority of the government to jump-start special economic zones (SEZs). “It is our top priority to jump-start SEZs, and Rashakai Special Economic Zone will be the first one in the line,” he said during a meeting with a delegation headed by Chief Financial Officer China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) Dong Futang, who called on him in Islamabad.…

Minister writes letter seeking ban on sugar drinks at educational institutions

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, Aamer Mehmood Kiani has requested to ban sale and supply of the sugary drinks to educational institutions, shopkeepers, canteens and drink corners in 100 metres of educational institution. In a letter written to the Federal Minister for Education and provincial education ministers for KPK, Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan, the health minister informed that Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and…

Govt working to simplify procedure for tax filers: minister

ISLAMABAD: State Minister of Revenue Hamad Azhar has said the government is taking measures to simplify the procedure for tax filers to achieve the target set for speedy progress in the country. The urdu version page would be introduced to ensure easiness for every citizen wish to come into the tax net. Talking to a private news channel, he said that taxes would be imposed on those receiving high salaries or income, while the poor persons would enjoy exemption from tax. He was of the view that if the heavy income…

Minister orders special audit of five NHA projects including Lyari Experssway

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Communications Murad Saeed has written a letter to the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP), asking him to conduct special audit of five NHA projects. The projects include Lyari Expressway, Khuzdar-Shahdadkot Highway(M-8), Gwadar-Turbat-Hoshab Highway (M-8), Lowari Tunnel (N-45) Civil Works, and Kalat-Quetta-Chaman Highway (N-25). In his letter, the minister said these five projects of National Highway Authority (NHA) were inordinately delayed, causing price escalation and other adverse…

Govt committed to overhaul health, nutritional status of people: minister

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister National Health Services Aamer Mehmood Kiani on Friday said the government was committed to improve the health and nutritional status of its people. "Health care indicators have always been on the decline since decades as no priority was given to this important subject," he said while addressing the 'Health Fest' event organized by Hashoo Foundation. He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was seriously concerned about the health issues prevalent in Pakistan, and which was…

Karachi child abduction ‘scare’ echoes in National Assembly

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi on Thursday invited opposition for legislation to take strict action against the elements involved in child abduction. The minister said this while responding to a calling attention notice regarding major crime of child abduction in Karachi threatening human rights. He said, “On the instructions of prime minister, I will visit Karachi soon and meet PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto to discuss the issues of child abduction”. “We want to make the laws for the…

Sindh LG minister vows to address water crisis in Karachi

KARACHI: Sindh Local Government minister Saeed Ghani on Monday vowed to take drastic measures to address the worsening water crisis in Karachi. Addressing media after attending a meeting presided by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, the provincial minister said it was their aim to provide water to every part of the city. He said that there will be an equitable distribution of water resources, and those areas where water is provided in abundance will have to make sacrifices for those who have do not receive water for…

PTI’s Aleem Khan ‘resigns’ from business before taking oath as minister

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Aleem Khan on Monday announced to have resigned from all of his businesses before taking oath as provincial minister. The newly-elected PTI government has named Aleem Khan as Minister for Local Government in the 23-member Punjab cabinet. The announcement in this regard was made on Sunday. “Before taking oath as minister, I have resigned from the directorship and chief executive posts from all companies of my businesses,” the PTI leader said in a tweet. Before taking oath as…

Railways’ economic condition to be improved within 120 days: minister

LAHORE: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad on Sunday said economic condition of Pakistan Railways will be improved within 120 days through effective and concrete measures. "No decision has been taken to raise railway fares," Sheikh Rasheed said while talking to newsmen at Lahore Railway Station today, after visiting its various parts.  To a question, he said facility of online ticketing will be further extended and improved. The minister said more attention would be given to target railway freight…