PESHAWAR -Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has directed the authorities of information department to finalise the draft of the proposed Access to Information Bill as soon as possible so that it could be approved from the competent forum and enforced without further delay to ensure transparency in the government departments.

He has also directed the concerned quarters to take practical steps to effectively highlight the progress on the reform agenda of the provincial government through media and to develop a close liaison between the govt and the media. He was chairing a meeting of the authorities of information department at his office on Tuesday. The meeting discussed matters related to the proposed Access to Information Bill, distribution system, of government advertisement, establishment of the proposed TV channel of the provincial government, the projection of the activities of government departments regarding the reform agenda through electronic and print media, and strengthening the information department on modern lines.

Khattak said that the present provincial govt fully believed in the freedom of expression and freedom of media. He directed the concerned authorities to devise a mechanism for the use of the funds allocated for the welfare of journalist community under the Journalist Endowment Fund. The meeting was attended by Provincial Minister Shaukat Yousafzai, Secretary Information Amzat Hanif Orkazai, principal secretary to CM, Ashfaq Ahmad, Director Information and others.

The chief minister said that the provincial government was working on such legislation under which government department would be bound to resolve the problems of people well in time and to give them access to information regarding their activities.

He also directed the concerned authorities to develop a mechanism to pay the advertisement bills of newspapers soon after and advertisement is published.

Meanwhile the chief minister chaired another meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) of Fazal-e-Haq College Mardan. The meeting discussed in detail matters related to the ongoing conflict between the principal and the teaching staff of the college, allegations of financial and administrative malpractices levelled against the principal and other matters related to the administration of the college and a number of decisions were made to this effect. Provincial Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education, Aatif Khan, Secretary Higher Education, Farah Hamid, Secretary Elementary and Secondary Education, Humayun Khan, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Ashfaq Ahmad, Private Member of the BOG, Aftab Malik, representative of finance department and deputy commissioner Mardan attended the meeting.

The meeting decided to conduct an impartial enquiry with the issue of conflict between the principal and the staff of the college, and the allegations of financial and administrative male practices level against the principal. The chief minister inspection team was assigned the task of conducting an enquiry in to the matter and submitting a report within one week.

In his short address to the BoG, the chief minister said that an impartial and fair enquiry would be conducted and those found guilty would be dealt with an iron hand, adding that if any financial malpractice was proved against anybody then complete recovery will be made.

The meeting decided to stop the principal from working and to appoint an acting principal until the inspection teams completes its enquiry. The meeting also decided to give a twenty percent increase in the salaries of the college staff as an adhoc relief and to give conveyance allowance to those staff of the college who do not reside in the premises of the college.