LAHORE - The Punjab government Tuesday approved the supplementary grant for Smart Integrated City Control Centre for district Nanakana Sahid besides lifting ban on hiring the technical cadre officials in special branch. The approval was given in the 23rd meeting of Standing Committee of Cabinet for Finance chaired by Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakhat. Provincial minister for industry and commerce Mian Aslam Iqbal, advisor to chief minister Dr Salman Shah, Chief Secretary Punjab Azam Suleman, Chairman Planning and Development Hamid Yaqood Sheikh and other officials of departments concern attended the meeting.

The meeting also approved the sharing of the Fisheries department in accordance with the KP in Mianwali Chesma link canal, bypass road construction between Dajkot Samnudri to Canal Rekh Branch Dajkot, inclusion of Wazirabad Cardiology Institute in IRMNCH&N in ongoing annual development plan, construction of hostels for teachers and students in D G Khan Teaching hospital, release of funds for Anomal Hospital Lahore, and resale of funds for maternity ambulances in the deprived areas.

The meeting orders the social welfare department to justify the appointment on vacant seats, reasons of increase of PKLI cost, performance of Safe City Authority along with its overall financial plans.

The minister instructed the departments keep the standing updated on increase of cost of ongoing development projects besides submit the timelines and completion time of the projects for the approval of supplementary grants. The meeting also reviewed to bring the Safe City Authority under home department and conversion the safe city into smart city.

The chief secretary instructed the Communication and Works department to utilize the public private partnership for the construction of the big industrial and commercial areas linking roads.

 Later, chairing another meeting to review the Annual Development Plan, it was informed that out of total Rs 350 billion ADP, planning and development department approved Rs 175 billion worth schemes while Rs 169 billion were released by the Finance Department against approved schemes. However, only 53 percent was released budget was utilized.

The Chief Secretary instructed the departments to complete the district development selection committee by January 15 and Provincial Development Working Party by February 29th.

The Finance Minister instructed the departments to ensure the completion of the development schemes in the given timelines, remove the objections from rejected schemes and increase the pace on new development schemes.