LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Thursday ordered early completion of under-construction Punjab Assembly building while stating that next budget session will be held in the new premises.

Talking to the media after inspection of the under-construction building, the Chief Minister said that project was delayed since the previous government did not issue any funds for its completion.  Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch Parvez Elahi also accompanied the Chief Minister.

At the construction site, they were given briefing about leftover works of the under-construction building.

The Chief Minister and Speaker inspected different parts of the building including the new Assembly Hall which is also under-construction.

They also visited the under-construction Mosque and directed to complete the remaining work at the earliest.

The Chief Minister directed that construction work should be completed as soon as possible.

He said that the incumbent government will provide required funds on priority basis so that construction work could be completed soon.

Buzdar said that present building of Punjab Assembly was 90 years old and the number of Assembly members had increased causing shortage of seating capacity.  “Today, we have inspected the under-construction building and we have been told that funds were not allocated for the construction of this building during the last 10 years. Our government will soon complete this building and funds will be provided on priority basis”, he said, adding, that the next budget session will be held in the new building.  

Replying to a question, he said that expansion in the Cabinet will be made soon. Responding to another question, he said that he had taken notice of the incidents that occurred with regard to postings and transfers in Chakwal and Rajanpur. Report has been sought and further action will be initiated within the jurisdiction of law, he assured.

To another question, Buzdar said that transparent procedure had been finalised for the auction of lease of 22 LDA petrol pumps and advertisement had been released to the newspapers.

He said that police officials deputed in LDA for a long period have been recalled immediately and new staff was being posted in place of them.

To a question, he said that law and order situation was better than before and it would be further improved.

Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch. Parvez Elahi said held former Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif responsible for stoppage of funds for construction the new Assembly building and said that the building cost had been increased to three billion rupees in the last 10 years. “Shehbaz Sharif is responsible for this loss of three billion rupees and this amount should be recovered from him”, he observed, adding, that he (Shehbaz Sharif) had perhaps assumed the Assembly a hospital and ,therefore, did not release any funds.

He said that PML-N members had also not raised their voice during the last 10 years to pressurise Shehbaz Sharif for the construction of new building. “Shehbaz Sharif created hurdles in the construction of this building and funds were not released even for the construction of the Mosque. We, on the other side, have donated one month salary for the construction of the Mosque”, he added.

Parvez Elahi said that he had talked to the Chief Minister about making improvement in the condition of hospitals that were in a bad shape due to negligence of the previous government.  He said that new hospitals will also be constructed so that rush of patients could be minimised.

He said that Seerat Academy and Ulema Board will also be activated as no attention was given to both the institutions in the past.

The Chief Minister and the Speaker also planted saplings outside the under-construction building and prayed for the success of “plant for Pakistan campaign”.