LAHORE - Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that elimination of corruption in Punjab is one of the biggest challenges for his party’s government.

He stressed upon members of the Punjab cabinet to make it their top most responsibility to identify the corrupt and take strict action against them.

The prime minister, who spoke to the Punjab Cabinet members at Chief Minister Secretariat here yesterday, also discussed reforms in the governance system.

He said Punjab is a very significant province and therefore performance of the provincial government should be such that it sets the trend for other provinces.

The premier expressed serious concern over land grabbing and encroachments in the province in general and Lahore in particular and wanted prompt action.

He directed that mafias and big groups, who have been involved in encroachments and land grabbing, must be taken to task without discrimination.

Imran Khan directed Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to immediately launch an anti-encroachment drive and take action against land grabbers, and assured of his full support to the provincial government on this count.

The prime minister also emphasised the need for austerity and simplicity, and said that the cabinet members should set an example while remaining at the forefront to abolish extravagant spending of the taxpayers’ money at every level.

“We must invest on human development while simultaneously rationalising our expenditures through austerity and simplicity because Pakistan has the lowest Human Development Index in the region,” he told members of Punjab cabinet.

The prime minister felicitated the provincial cabinet members on assuming their portfolios and urged them to work tirelessly to bring a visible change in people’s lives.

He said he would be frequently visiting the province and would remain at the forefront to oversee the progress on 100-days agenda of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.

The cabinet members also shared their ideas and proposals with the prime minister.

Senior Minister for Local Government Abdul Aleem Khan reportedly briefed the premier about the existing local bodies’ system and the anomalies in it.

Taking note of it the PM decided to introduce a new local government system in Punjab on the pattern of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa LG system, which was introduced by PTI’s previous government tenure there, to devolve power to the lowest level in true sense.

The cabinet meeting also decided to depoliticise Punjab Police and allow the police department to work in a totally professional manner, strictly according to the law and call of their duty.

PM Khan restricted recruitments in the public departments against heavy salaries. He also called for audit of the public sector projects involving huge subsidies for their rationalisation.

He assigned CM Buzdar and Aleem Khan to present fortnightly overview of the implementation of the government agenda.

Earlier, CM Usman Buzdar warmly welcomed PM Khan on behalf of the provincial cabinet and reaffirmed the commitment to implement PTI’s reforms and development agenda of a ‘Naya Pakistan’. The prime minister also held a separate meeting with the chief minister.

Tree plantation drive

Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday planted a tree at Chief Minister Secretariat to open the Green Pakistan Campaign, which targets planting a total of 10 billion trees throughout the country over the next five years.

Besides Khan, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also planted a tree at the secretariat.

The campaign is part of the PTI government’s efforts to arrest deforestation and the resulting impact of the climate change due to which the world temperatures are shooting up at an alarming level. Pakistan is among the six countries that are thought to be most affected ones in the world.

 PM backs bureaucracy to deliver

 APP adds: Imran Khan Saturday stressed upon the need for improving governance, service delivery, transparency and promoting merit at all levels in order to capitalise the immense potential of the country.

He expressed his views during a meeting with provincial secretaries of Punjab here at the CM Secretariat. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar was also present during the meeting, the PM Office media wing in a press release said.

The prime minister highlighted the role of bureaucracy in steering the country out of various challenges that the country faced today. Difficult circumstances, he said, required tough decisions. The reform agenda of the present government needed wholehearted commitment of the bureaucracy coupled with performance to translate the vision into reality.

“Your performance will be the only consideration for the present government. We will provide you opportunity and will not interfere in the functional domain as we demonstrated in KP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) that produced unprecedented outcomes,” the press release further quoted the PM as saying.

Referring to the era of 1960s, the prime minister said they expected the civil servants to manifest same dedication, commitment and professionalism.




PM asks Punjab to set example for others