ISLAMABAD – The federal cabinet approved the Hajj Policy 2017 and has also lifted a moratorium on new gas connections and execution of development schemes, here on Wednesday.

Chairing a meeting of the Federal Cabinet here at the PM Office, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif directed that maximum facilities be provided to the pilgrims, this year.

The Prime Minister also appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Religious Affairs for making arrangements for the Hujjaj last year.

He, however, directed to again work out the Hajj expenses and present revised rates in the next cabinet meeting.

The Cabinet also lifted the moratorium on new gas connections, following a go-ahead from the Cabinet Committee on Energy. The Cabinet also approved the execution of gas development schemes, initiated during the present government.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while discussing problems related to the housing sector, said that in view of growing urbanisation, the government would facilitate the low-income groups in the housing sector.

The Prime Minister said urbanisation was increasing at a rapid pace due to development activities and there was a need to cater to the demands in the housing sector.

During the meeting, Minister for Planning, Reform and Development Dr Ahsan Iqbal gave a detailed presentation on the subject and showed various housing models for low and middle-income population groups.

The Minister for Planning also apprised the Prime Minister about the issues related to housing sector including governance and finance, connectivity and planning, land and housing, resilience to natural disasters and effects of climate change.

It was agreed to constitute a Cabinet sub-committee comprising Minister Housing (chair), Minister Planning, Minister Railways, Minister SAFRON, Secretary to PM, Secretary Finance, representatives of State Bank and National Bank to work out a detailed plan for housing within 10 days and present it in the next Cabinet Meeting. –APP