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February 02, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. ECP bars KP minister from holding office for five years
• The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on February 1, 2022 disqualified provincial minister for transport Shah Muhammad Khan from holding any public office for five years due to his involvement in attacks on polling stations, kidnapping of polling staff and snatching of election material in his native Bakakhel area of Bannu district on the eve of the first phase of local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa held on December 19.
• A two-member ECP bench, consisting of Nisar Ahmad Durrani and Shah Mohammad Jatoi, in a 21-page judgement also barred Shah Muhammad`s son Mamoon Rasheed from contesting any elections till finalisation of criminal proceedings against him in the same case.
• Following the verdict, the ECP also issued a notification disqualifying Shah Muhammad from holding any public office for five years and consequently denotifying him as an MPA from PK-89 (Bannu-III)
2. Pakistan receives $1bn sukuk proceeds
• The proceeds of $1 billion raised through the international sukuk issue, the first under the newly established Trust Certificate Issuance Programme, were received on Tuesday, announced the Ministry of Finance.
• During the first 21 days of January, the SBP`s foreign exchange reserves declined by $1.4bn. While in the first seven months of the current fiscal year its forex holdings shrank by $3.88bn.
• The ministry in a statement said the participants offered $2.7bn for the bonds but the government successfully raised $1bn sticking to its target.
3. PM launches health card in Bahawalpur division
• Prime Minister Imran Khan has claimed that the universal health card scheme of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government will bring about a revolution in the country.
• Launching the scheme in Bahawalpur division, the prime minister said the Ehsaas, Kamyab Jawan and health card programmes would turn the country into a welfare state.
• He said the Rs400 billion healthcare scheme would cater to the entire population, adding the number of hospitals in the country was not enough for the increasing population and the funds needed to run a large number of hospitals could not be arranged even in the next five years
4. Inflation at its highest in two years
• Pakistan`s general inflation measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI) clocked in at 24-month peak of 13pc in January as prices of almost all commodities and utilities maintained a growing trend.
• The sectors that posted double-digit growth in prices when compared to the same month of last year included perishable and non-perishable food items, energy, transportation, clothing, restaurants and health.
• While household and energy rates increased by 15.5pc, the transport sector led the inflationary trend with an increase of over 23pc, followed by 13pc and 14pc for perishable and nonperishable food items, restaurants and hotels13pc and clothing 12pc.
• This is the highest CPI inflation since January 2020 when it was 14.6pc.
5. Bill to establish varsity in PM House reaches Senate
• The bill seeking establishment of the much-trumpeted university at the Prime Minister House finally landed in the Senate on February 1, 2022 when the PTI government has already entered its fourth year in office, implying Prime Minister Imran Khan may not be able to see his dream project completing during his tenure.
• According to the bill, which has already been passed by the National Assembly, the project once started will take 72 months to complete.
• However, sources said the government was making efforts to get the bill passed from Senate as soon as possible to make the university functional in any rented building for offering admissions in the upcoming sprig session