The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to set up the Land Asset Management Authority in an attempt to retrieve 1,200 acres of land of Pakistan Railways and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) across the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a recent meeting of the cabinet, inquired about the status of previously proposed “Land Bank Cell” and was apprised that the Land Asset Management Authority was being established, which would also help tackle encroachment issues.

The prime minister gave directive for immediately holding a meeting with relevant stakeholders on the issue. He expressed concern over the illegal land grabbing in which parliamentarians and politicians were also allegedly involved. The matter of encroachments on 1,200 acres of CAA in Karachi and Pakistan Railways across the country was brought to the cabinet’s notice.

Keeping in view the enormity of the problem and its legal complexities, the law minister suggested that Supreme Court’s help may be sought under Article 184.

It was informed that a draft anti-encroachment law had been prepared and it was with the law ministry for vetting.

Salaries

The education minister highlighted the security issue arising out of frequent protests by government employees inside the secretariat premises.

Responding to that, the interior minister apprised cabinet members of his efforts and a recent meeting with the All Pakistan Clerks Association.

The aviation minister was of the opinion that the pay raise demand by the employees was legitimate while the Economic Affairs Division minister called for taking disciplinary action under E&D rules against the protesting employees.

The cabinet secretary informed meeting participants that the Secretaries Committee had submitted its report on pay hike that could form the basis for further analysis rather than taking up the entire matter again.

The prime minister emphasised that being a political government, it should engage and find a negotiated settlement to the issues and challenges. He directed the finance minister to look into proposals of the Secretaries Committee and hold a meeting on the issue.

The premier also expressed concern over the lack of participation by ministers in parliamentary proceedings and debates. He directed the cabinet members to enhance the frequency of their attendance in the National Assembly and Senate, and especially ensure their attendance and participation during question hours.

The prime minister expressed dissatisfaction over a report published by the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) on the restrictions placed on media and directed the minister for information and broadcasting to give a fair rejoinder to proactively counter the disinformation.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2021.

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