Federal Cabinet approves Lawyers Protection Bill, winding down of SME Bank

​ISLAMABAD, Mar 17 : The Federal Cabinet on Friday approved the winding down of the SME Bank on the recommendation of the State Bank of Pakistan with the instructions to ensure protection of consumers’ deposits.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, chairing the meeting of the Federal Cabinet, instructed that the protection of the customers’ deposits should be ensured during the winding down process. It was decided that all of the bank customers would be paid Rs 5.557 billion, in the first phase.

The Cabinet also approved the Lawyers Protection Bill 2023 for its onward tabling before the Parliament, a PM Office press release said.

The Prime Minister said that the lawyers had played a key role in the constitutional evolution of Pakistan.

He said approval for the support price of Rs 8500 per 40 kilograms of cotton had also been granted to make the crop profitable for the growers.

On the Finance Ministry’s recommendation, the Federal Cabinet granted ex-post facto approval to 15 bilateral and two multilateral MoUs of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan with different countries and international institutions.

The Cabinet approved the constitution of an inquiry committee under the Additional Deputy Commissioner for the extradition of a citizen Muhammad Waseem, son of Muhammad Aslam to Saudi Arabia under the Extradition Act 1972.

Muhammad Waseem Aslam is wanted by the Saudi government in a murder case. An agreement for the extradition of criminals between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia already existed.

The body approved the reconstitution of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbadhak Committee, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony. The 13-member committee would consist of Sikh community representatives from all the provinces.

The committee would be mandated to take care of the Gurdwaras, facilitate Sikh pilgrims, and run other administrative matters.

The Federal Cabinet endorsed the decisions of the Cabinet Committee on Legislative Cases, made in its meeting held on March 13, 2023, including the approval of the Lawyers Protection Bill 2023 which was drafted on the lawyer community’s request for their protection.

The meeting also endorsed the decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee, made in the meetings on March 14 and 15, 2023 including the setting of Rs 8500 per kg as the support price of cotton.

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