Federal cabinet approves draft of amendment bill of Investment Board Ordinance 2001

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD : The federal cabinet has approved draft of the amendment bill of the Investment Board Ordinance 2001 for promotion of foreign investment in Pakistan.

The decision to this effect was taken in the federal cabinet meeting held in Islamabad today with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair.

The amendment will empower the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) and evolve mechanisms for working relationship with various ministries and provincial governments, besides raising its basic structure and formulating nature of work.

Once it will become law, the Special Investment Facilitation Council will ensure speedy implementation of foreign investment projects in the country.

The Cabinet, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Narcotics Control, constituted a ministerial committee under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif to finalize the National Cannabis Policy.

The cabinet also approved the restructuring of Accountability Courts on the recommendation of the Ministry of Law and Justice, under which eleven Accountability Courts will be converted into seven Banking Courts, Two Intellectual Tribunals, a Special Court Central and a Special Court in Balochistan. This reorganizing will not incur any additional costs.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Information Technology, the federal cabinet approved in principle the E-Safety Bill 2023 to protect user data and prevent illegal and illegal use of information systems.

Under the E-Safety Bill, a framework will be evolved under a certain law to ensure protection and unauthorized use of user data on all types of online services, online shopping, data provided to various companies and social networking websites in Pakistan.

After approval of the bill, heinous crimes like online harassment, cyber bullying and blackmailing will be effectively prevented.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, the Cabinet also accorded approval in principle to the Personal Data Protection Bill 2023. 

Under this bill, the government will ensure the security of the user’s personal information or data by the various organizations and companies and prohibit the giving of the user’s information or data to any company, individual or government organization without their permission.

Moreover, a National Commission for Personal Data Protection (NCPDP) will be established under a certain law, which will work like Civil Court, to protect private information or data of consumers and redressal of grievances.

The cabinet approved the National Adaptation Plan 2023 on the recommendation of the Ministry of Climate Change.

Under the plan, the government along with other partners, will take measures to protect climate-prone communities from the adverse effects of climate change, including not only issuing early warning, but also taking effective emergency response measures.

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Climate Change, the federal cabinet approved to refer the Islamabad Nature Conservation and Wildlife Management Act, 2023 to the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases for the protection of wildlife and natural assets in Islamabad.

The cabinet accorded approval to the policy of inclusion and removal of names in the Exit Control List (ECL) on the recommendation of the Ministry of Interior.

It also approved that if the reason for inclusion of the names in the Passport Control List and the Exit Control List is the same, the name will be removed from both the lists.

The federal cabinet accorded approved to the reorganization of Board of Directors of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines.

It also approved the appointment of members of Selection Committee of Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the government is implementing ‘Whole of the Government’ policy to increase Foreign Direct Investment in the country. He said the policy is aimed at speedy implementing the projects with foreign investment.

The Prime Minister appreciated Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Musadik Malik, for his successful efforts to finalize the LNG Agreement with Azerbaijan.

He said the agreement will not only be an important step in the development of trade relations between Pakistan and Azerbaijan, but also prove to be an important milestone for Pakistan’s energy security.