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Cabinet approves placement of Shahbaz’s name on ECL

A meeting of the federal cabinet on Thursday approved a summary for the placement of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL), Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told DawnNewsTV.

The summary had been moved after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) wrote a letter to the interior ministry, seeking placement of the PML-N president’s name on the ECL.

In the letter, seen by Dawn.com, the accountability watchdog had stated under ‘allegations’ regarding Sharif: “The accused has accumulated assets beyond his known sources of income through corruption & corrupt practices.”

On Thursday, the summary in this regard was approved by the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, according to Chaudhry.

Informed sources had told Dawn on Tuesday that Sharif’s name had already been placed on a travel blacklist for allegedly possessing assets beyond his declared sources of income.

On February 14, the Lahore High Court had grantedbail to the PML-N president in three cases filed against him by NAB. Sharif, who is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, had filed a petition for bail in the Ashiyana housing scheme, Saaf Pani Company and Ramzan Sugar Mills cases.

‘PM Office expenditure down 31%’

Separately, the cabinet meeting was informed that the Prime Minister’s Office had reduced its expenditures by 31 per cent during the current financial year, resulting in savings of Rs303 million, a press release issued by Prime Minister Khan’s office said.

“The savings have been made under various heads including pay and allowances, food expenses, motor vehicle fuel and cash rewards,” read the handout.

The prime minister reiterated his call for a “maximum possible cut” in expenditures of all departments, urging all the ministers to ensure implementation of the PTI government’s austerity drive in letter and spirit.

The cabinet also approved the revision of visa fee for various countries under the government’s visa liberalisation regime.

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