ISLAMABAD - The federal cabinet, which on Friday approved fixing LNG price for services project at 0.66/MMBTU, was informed that $1.6 billion will be spent on Gwadar seaport and airport.

Several amendments in laws were approved and endorsements were accorded to various Memoranda of Undersigning (MoUs) with different countries during the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Addressing his cabinet, the PM stated that public money is sacred and “we should ensure its judicious and efficient spending”. He said the economy is his government’s top priority and they were providing equivalent attention to all parts of Pakistan.

The prime minister told his colleagues that Gwadar was being developed as a model city and a socio-economic package has been planned for it. Gwadar seaport and airport were being built on modern lines and $1.6 billion will be spent on these projects, he said, adding that he himself will monitor these projects.

PM Nawaz Sharif said development in Balochistan was also a priority area for them and development plans to put that province on road to progress were being implemented expeditiously. The socio-economic package for Balochistan includes provision of skilled manpower through training of human resource in different sectors, including health and education, while development of health and education infrastructure to cater for the people has also been planned.

Later, the cabinet approved the tariff of $0.66/MMBTU for LNG services project secured through competitive bidding process by Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry. The cabinet also decided that the policy guidelines of the tariff shall be conveyed to Ogra. The cabinet further decided that the other aspects of the commercial agreement will be settled between the two parties, SSGC and EPTL. Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi informed that the price of LNG is competitive with the international market. He said the contract will be for 15 years and will provide 200 MMBTU of LNG in first year which would be increased to 400 MMBTU from the second year.

The cabinet deferred amendment in CDA Ordinance-1960. It approved proposed amendments in the Patent Ordinance-2000 regarding electronic publication of patent journals. It granted approved, in principle, draft bill for Creation of joint Maritime Information Organisation (JMIO)" The cabinet also approved amendment in Foreign Exchange Regulation Act-1947 (FERA, 1947), besides approving SBP (Amendment) Bill-2010 and the SBP Banking Services Corporation Ordinance (Repeal) Bill 2010.

The federal cabinet considered the Constitution (Twenty-First Amendment) Bill-2013 and referred it to the relevant committee for further consideration. Two amendments were proposed in Practitioners and Bar Councils Act-1973. It approved one amendment and deferred the 2nd for further deliberations. The cabinet approved Equity Participation Fund Repeal Bill-2014. It also approved reconsideration of the decision of the cabinet regarding repealing of Section 27B of the banking Companies Ordinance-1962. The cabinet deferred Right to Information Bill-2014 and PM directed for further consultations with opposition and stakeholders.

The meeting considered a bill titled the Islamabad Subordinate Judiciary Service Tribunal Act-2014 and referred it to Law Division for review. Approval in principle was granted to start negotiations with Turkey on MoU in the field of environment. Approval was also given to start negotiations and approval for signing Memorandum of Cooperation between the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Turkmenistan and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan. Formal approval was accorded for signing of MoU with China on Raikot Islamabad Section of China-Pak Economic Corridor by China Road & Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

Federal cabinet approved in principle negotiations on the draft agreement between Pakistan’s defence ministry and UAE interior ministry for secondment of qualified technical military personnel (Drum majors) to UAE. The cabinet approved signing of MoU with Tanzania and negotiating draft MoU Vietnam on defence cooperation. It also gave approval for signing of revised draft agreement between defence ministries of Pakistan and Russia on military cooperation. The cabinet however deferred approving negotiations for agreement with South Africa on defence industrial cooperation. The PM directed that the matter of production in defence sector is of immense importance and the cabinet should be briefed on the matter in detail.

The cabinet gave approval for signing of protocol for the period from Nov 2004 to Nov 2012 and approval for revision of protocol with China for scientific and technical cooperation in surveying and mapping. It approved starting negotiations on the agreement on economic cooperation with Czech Republic. It approved initiation of negotiations for signing of reciprocal agreement and MoU with Qatar. The cabinet also approved in principle negotiations on MoU between Supreme Audit Institutions of Pakistan and Vietnam on cooperation on auditing in public sector.

Cabinet meeting approved initiation of negotiations of State Bank of Pakistan with central banks of France, Philippines and Kenya for signing MoUs on cooperation in banking supervision and exchange of information. It approved framework agreement in housing development signed during the visit of PM to Turkey on 16-18 September, 2013. It also approved start negotiations between National Productivity Centre of Turkey and National Product. The cabinet approved cooperation in the field of higher education and scientific research between with UAE.

The meeting approved starting negotiations for MoU with on imposition of import restriction on archaeological material. It approved starting negotiations with Djibouti on exemptions for the holders of diplomatic and official passports and approved signing of agreement with the Lao People's Democratic Republic for the same. The cabinet meeting approved ratification of an agreement on transfer of offenders between Pakistan and Yemen. It approved signing MoU with South Africa for cooperation in combating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals.

Federal cabinet gave ex-post facto approval, in principle, to start negotiations and signing of protocol on compliance of phytosanitary requirements with Russia. It gave permission for entering into an agreement concerning the export of manpower from Pakistan to Italy. The cabinet also approved signing of MoU with Turkey on sister seaport relation and cooperation. The cabinet approved signing MoU in the fields of standardisation, metrology, certification, accreditation and the other related activities with Jordanian institution of standards and metrology (JISM).

The cabinet approved starting negotiations for MoU on cooperation in preventing and combating pollution from ships with Iran. On this occasion the issue of pollution in Pakistan seawaters also came under discussion. The PM was told that Pakistani seawater has become a dumping ground for ship waste. He directed ports and shipping minister to take concrete steps to reduce sea pollution. The cabinet granted approval to the MoU signed between Iran power generation, transmission and distribution management company (TAVANIR) and National Transmission and Des-patch Company (NTDC) in the field of electricity transmission.