He said that the act of gang-rape has also been included in the proposed law

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Federal cabinet on Tuesday approved in principle the Anti-rape (investigation and trial) Ordinance and Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2020.

Addressing a press conference after federal cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said that the prime minister directed to the Law Ministry to finalize provisions of the proposed Ordinance.

He said that the act of gang-rape has also been included in the proposed law in which harsh punishments, including death penalty, have been suggested to give exemplary sentences to the offenders of rape. He said the law will be a deterrent against incidents of rape.

The minister went on to say that the cabinet approved in principle the establishment of a Special Technology Zones Authority to promote technology in the country.

He said Special technology zones will be set up initially in Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore and Haripur. The Cabinet also approved the establishment of these zones in Karachi and Quetta.

The Economic Affairs Division informed the Cabinet that at present the repayment of 1.7 billion dollars to 2 billion dollars of loans taken during the period of May to December this year has been extended by the G-20 countries.

The Cabinet authorized the Secretary Economic Affairs Division to enter into agreements for debt rescheduling with 16 G-20 countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said the government imported around 1,25,000 tons of sugar due to which a decline of 10 to 12 rupees per kilogramme at the ex-mill price of the commodity has been witnessed in last ten days. He said the imported sugar is being provided at the rate of around 81 rupees per kilogramme at facilitation centers in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, whereas the commodity is available at 4000 Utility Stores, across Pakistan at 68 rupees per kilogramme.

Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar said prices of wheat flour has been showing declining trend for last ten days bringing down prices of the commodity from 2,400 to 2,200 rupees per 40 kilogrammes. He said this year there was a shortage of wheat production in the country due to bad weather conditions, which resulted in deficiency of 2.2 million metric tons, which is being fulfilled by importing wheat from other countries. He said the government has also increased the support price for wheat and fixed the new rate of 1,650 rupees per 40 kilogrammes to give due return to farmers as well.

To a question, the information minister said government is working on elections reforms and those who are against it, will be exposed. Expressing gratitude to the people of Gilgit Baltistan for supporting PTI in recent elections, he said people of the region will get a bright future under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He also condemned the recent actions of PPP in GB to foster public unrest.

To another question, Shibli Faraz said reforms are essential to reduce the losses of national institutions. He said it is necessary to expedite administrative reforms and to ensure efficient utilization of all available resources in a transparent manner.