LAHORE - Against the backdrop of COVID-19 situation, the Punjab cabinet on Thursday decided to impose strict financial discipline by cutting down on unnecessary expenditures and banning the release of supplementary grants.  

However, payment of salaries and pensions will be continued as per routine.

The 29th meeting of the provincial cabinet held here at 90-SQA under the chair of Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar also approved the allocation of 2 per cent seats for minorities for admission in public sector higher educational institutions. The decision has been taken under Punjab Minority Empowerment Package.

It also gave in-principle approval to LDA Land Use Rules, 2019 and amendment in LDA Private Housing Schemes Rules, 2014 besides constituting a committee to review matters about LDA’s private housing schemes.

This committee will take further steps in the light of recommendations of provincial ministers.

The cabinet approved granting of additional powers to cabinet standing committee on legislation through amendments in its TORs.

It also granted one year extension in service contract of provincial Ombudsman. The cabinet also issued directions to give final shape to matters about the appointment of Member (Technical|) of Punjab Environmental Tribunal, Lahore.  Cabinet also approved Alternate Dispute Resolution Act, 2019 and Accreditation Authority and Framing of Alternate Dispute Resolution Rules, 2020.

Meanwhile, a ministerial committee was constituted to examine setting up a 100-bed hospital in the old building of the Food Department in Multan and submit its final recommendations.

The meeting also endorsed minutes of 28th meeting of Punjab cabinet along with the approval of decisions made in the 29th, 30th and 31st meetings of cabinet standing committee on finance and development.

Similarly, the decisions made in the special meetings of cabinet standing committee on finance and development held on February 27, March 10, March 19 and March 28th were also endorsed besides approval of decisions made in the 22nd meeting of cabinet standing committee on legislation. 

The CM welcomed Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan and Chief Secretary Jawaad Rafique Malik to cabinet meeting and reiterated that journey of public service will be continued and no one will be allowed to interrupt it.

He added that a zero-tolerance policy against corruption will be continued.  “I will move forward along with the whole team and will go to every extent to ensure good governance. The service delivery will be further improved for facilitating the people”, he said.

Buzdar directed the government machinery to solve public problems on priority basis and added that good performers will be encouraged.

“The govt machinery should proactively perform to deal with the prevailing challenges and the PTI-led government is standing with the people in these difficult circumstances”, he asserted, adding that all will have to perform their duties and wheat procurement target will be achieved.

He emphasized that farmers’ interests will be protected and operation will be continued against hoarders. He told that Rs25 billion has been released for dealing with coronavirus pandemic.

The CM disclosed that deduction made in the salaries of doctors and other health professionals in the head of the Coronavirus Fund will be returned and they will be paid full salary. Instructions have been issued to the health department in this regard, he added. Doctors and other staff, engaged in the treatment of coronavirus patients, will get an additional salary from the month of April and this additional payment will be given to them till the overcoming this pandemic, he added.

Shabbir presents

financial aid cheque to widow of deceased labourer

On behalf of CM Buzdar, Minister of State Shabbir Ali Qureshi visited the residence of Nazir Ali, a labourer in cattle market area of Kot Addu and condoled with the bereaved heirs over the tragic incident of the suicide of the Nazir Ahmed. He presented a financial aid cheque worth Rs3 lakh to the widow and stated that one child will be given govt job on the direction of CM Buzdar.

The CM has directed the administration to early complete the process for employment. The suicide of the father of six children is a tragedy and care of orphans is the responsibility of the state, he added.   

flays unprovoked firing of Indian Army along LoC

Buzdar has strongly condemned the unprovoked firing of Indian Army on civilian population along LoC.  In a statement issued here on Thursday, the CM paid rich tributes to the bravery of Pak Army and extended sympathies to the heirs of martyrs. Targeting the civilian population is the most condemnable action and Modi regime is blatantly violating all international laws while the world is facing coronavirus pandemic, he lamented.