LAHORE– Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar chaired the 34th meeting of the provincial cabinet at his office here on Thursday.
The meeting approved amendments in rules of business 2011 for setting up the southern Punjab secretariat. With these amendments, the secretaries of 16 different provincial departments will perform duties in the southern Punjab secretariat which will be administratively totally empowered.
The residents of southern Punjab will not have to travel to Lahore for the solution of their problems and all matters will be completed paperless in the new secretariat. Meanwhile, the cabinet rejected the proposal of tabulation of valuation table relating to new categorizing of property tax and further decided to extend the date of online registration of charities up to October 15. It also approved amendments in Punjab E-Stamp Rules, 2016 for a refund of e-stamp papers.
Meanwhile, approval was granted for authorizing the commissioners for a refund of stamp papers up to five lakh rupees. Amendments in Punjab Sugar Factory (Control) Act, 1950 was given. The mills failing to start crushing, from the notified date of the crushing season, can be fined by the government and mills will also be bound to write down the weight of sugarcane purchased by them along with price and date on the valid receipt.
The farmers will be paid according to the notified rate with the obligation of payment through the bank. Due to these amendments, the crushing season will be started in time along with protecting the interest of the farmer.
The cabinet granted approval to Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency to start housing schemes across the province under PM Naya Pakistan Housing Programme. Approval was granted to give powers to motor vehicles officers under section 120 of Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1965 and amendment was also approved in Motor Vehicles Rules, 1969 to include loader rickshaws in it. The cabinet also approved the first Special Education Policy, 2019. This policy will cover the medical model to the social model. The government is credited to implement the first special education policy after a gap of 17 years.
The cabinet gave approval to the establishment of South Punjab Institute of Science and Technology DG Khan and giving the status of the University of Jhang to Lahore College for Women University Jhang Sub-Campus. The meeting constituted a ministerial committee to review the nomination of member legal of Punjab Environment Tribunal.
The meeting decided to rationalize matters of Anti-Terrorism Courts having fewer cases and in the light of directions of the honourable Judge of Supreme Court, approval was granted to close six ATCs with fewer cases. The constitution of the executive committee of Punjab Heritage Foundation was approved along with the approval of amendments in Punjab Government Advertisement Policy, 2020.
AGP’s report about the forest department’s expenditures for 2019-20 and appropriation of forest department’s accounts for 2018-19 was approved along with the approval of an audit of special study of stock of stone of irrigation department for 2017-18. Meanwhile, audit reports of C&W, Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering, Irrigation, Local Government and Community Development, Energy and Infrastructure Development Authority Punjab for 2019-20 were approved.
The proceedings of 32nd and 33rd meetings of the Punjab cabinet were endorsed along with the endorsement of decisions made in the 35th and 36th meetings of the standing cabinet committee for finance and development.
Addressing the meeting, the CM maintained that another promise has been fulfilled. Secretaries of 16 departments will perform duties in the southern Punjab secretariat. This is an important step for southern Punjab province, he added. The people of southern Punjab were befooled through hollow slogans in the past; but, today, the people of southern Punjab have been given their rights under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. We have come to give relief to the masses and the cabinet has given genuine relief by rejecting an increase in property tax. No hurdle will be tolerated in the journey of public service, the CM concluded.
The meeting was also briefed about the supply and prices of sugar and flour in the markets.— HANDOUT