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Federal Cabinet approves 2 Ordinances on EVMs use & Overseas Pakistanis’ voting rights

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday approved two Ordinances as part of electoral reforms to ensure transparency in elections.

Briefing media about the decisions taken in the Federal Cabinet meeting held in Islamabad with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Chair, the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain told that one Ordinance will enable the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in elections while the other Ordinance empowers the ECP to take steps to give the Overseas Pakistanis right to franchise.

The information minister said that the government’s electoral reforms consist of four parts including EVMs, E-voting for Overseas Pakistanis, Biometric, and the Legislation.

The minister said that EVMs have been developed and the government has unveiled its legislation agenda for the purpose. He said that work is underway on biometrics and E-voting.

Speaking about the COVID-19 situation in the Country, the information minister said that the COVID-19 related Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are not being implemented in letter and spirit in Karachi, and the Sindh government should look into it.

The minister said that the Federal Cabinet has approved the Sindh government’s request for deployment of the Pakistan army for ensuring implementation of the SOPs.

Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that the Cabinet approved 90-day remission to jail prisoners on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr. However, this remission will not be applicable to the prisoners of heinous crimes, he added.

The information minister said that the facility of Succession Certificates through NADRA is also being provided to Overseas Pakistanis, and in the first phase, desks are being opened in 24 embassies.

The minister said that the Federal Cabinet has approved the issuance of a Commemorative Coin to pay tribute to NED University Karachi on 100 years of its establishment.

In addition, he said that Cabinet also approved to waive off 10 percent withholding tax on private sector bids in Railways.

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