Peshawar - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Wednesday decided to provide low-priced and inexpensive power generated through Malakand-III, Daral Khwar, Ranolia and Machai Power Stations to the industrial units for the expeditious development of industrial and agriculture sectors.  

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan presided over a KP cabinet meeting. The cabinet was informed that Pehur Power Station model would be replicated through open competition in this regard. The provincial government has already established special economic zones (SEZs) that will ensure prosperity, mitigate poverty enhanced employment, promoting skill development and productivity in the province. These power stations collectively generate 137-megawatt electricity which would be provided to the industrial sector that will bring about an industrial revolution in the province. 

The cabinet also approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Schools Bags Limitation Weight Act-2019 to be applicable on all public and private primary and secondary schools. The heavy bags are the root cause of creating spinal injuries to the kids. Violations to the act would trigger punitive actions under the law against the heads of public schools while the private school administrations would be fined up to Rs.2 lac. 

The cabinet was briefed about the weight determined for different grades of kids as 1.5kg for Pre-Grade-1, 2.4kg for Grade-1, 2.6kg for Grade-2, 3kg for Grade-3, 4.4kg for Grade-4, 5.3kg for Grade-5, 5.4kg for Grade-6, 5.8kg for Grade-7. 5.9kg for Grade-8, 6kg for Grade-9, 6.5 kg for Grade-10, 7kg for Grade-11 and 7kg for Grade-12. 

The cabinet meeting was attended by provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants to chief minister, chief secretary, additional chief secretary and administrative secretaries. 

The Chief Minister directed against the stockpiling, hoarding and price-hike and asked the relevant authority to control the price hike and discourage stockpiling. He said the provincial ministers and district administration should visit bazars, check rates and ensure that the officially issued price lists were conspicuously placed. 

Mahmood Khan appreciated the performance of Mines Department for an effective operation against illegal mining in Nowshera and Swabi and directed the Forest Department to take preventive steps against illegal cutting of trees. The cabinet also approved the first-ever commerce and trade strategy 2019-23 which would be sent out to the federal government.  

Under the strategy bazars would be established at the border areas, the business community would be given incentives and in an environment of ease to business, the departments would be digitally interlinked and promotional units would be set up for trade development. In the back-drop of CPEC and Central Asia Regional Economic Operational Cooperation, the strategy has a supreme important as in the future Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would become a hub of trade and economic activity. 

The Chief Minister directed to immediately prepare an operation plan and the estimated cost for these activities in order to push the overall plan to the implementation stage. 

The Cabinet was also briefed about the wheat situation in the province and was informed that the provincial government had already ordered the import of 660000 metric tons of wheat through PASCO and Trading Corporation of Pakistan to meet the wheat shortage in the province. “218000 metric tons have already landed in the province out of which 3000 metric tons on daily basis are being provided to the flour mills and the process started from 6th August 2020. The government is giving subsidy on this to ensure provision of Atta on subsidized rates. The remaining wheat will reach by December.” 

The provincial cabinet formed food committee comprising Taimur Jhagra, Mian Khaiq-ur-Rahmand, Akbar Ayub and Kamran Bangash to take steps for the import of wheat and ensure provision of atta on subsidized rates. 

The cabinet also approved to include secretary C&W in the already established committee for settling the lease affairs of Swat Serena Hotel. Previously the rate was to be determined by the C&W department. C&W department will determine recommendations for the rates from 2015 to 2020 and the annual lease rate for the purpose. 

The cabinet also constituted a committee for the re-constitution of a committee for the board of governors for the Provincial Services Academy Peshawar comprising Education Minister Shahram Taraki, Minister for Local government Akbar Ayub, Minister for Law Sultan Mehmood and Secretary Establishment. The committee will present final report in the next cabinet meeting.   

The cabinet also approved Boiler and Pressure Whistle Rules and agreed to support the Bank of Khyber being the public sector bank and the departments would deposit their surplus amount raising the limit from 10% to 20% of the amount. The cabinet endorsed the earlier decision to declare District Shangla, Matta, Bahrain, District Swat and Kohistan as calamity hit areas devastated by the recent floods. 

The KP cabinet approved to appoint Jamal-ud-Din, a Grade-18 officer, as Administrator Auqaf. The cabinet also agreed to inclusion of Ikram Ghani, Dr. Lubna Hassan, Abid Hayat and Dr. Sabina Aziz as the unofficial members of the Healthcare Commission.  

The cabinet also agreed to replicate the model of education in the health to monitor the health facilities, bringing improvement, greater participation of the people in primary healthcare management committee and hospital management committee. These committees are being established for improving the primary and secondary healthcare, such committee at district level will ensure transparency responsiveness and participatory approach ensuring effective accountability at grass root level. 

The cabinet was also briefed about the Alternate Dispute Resolution Bill 2020. The Chief Minister formed a committee to bring more improvement in the bill. The committee comprised of Law Minister Sultan Mahmood Khan, Relief Minister Iqbal Wazir and Minister for Zakat Anwar Zeb. The bill is designed to find out solution to the civil and criminal disputes.  

To provide inexpensive justice to the people, which will reduce burden on the courts, the government of Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory have already enforced the said law. The provincial cabinet under the accelerated implementation projects in the merged districts approved police stations and police posts with allocation of Rs.7377 million.  

The cabinet also approved amendments in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sugar Factories Control Act 1950 in order to ensure timely crushing and prevent artificial shortage of sugar. The factories starting delay crushing would be fined. The government of Punjab has already executed such mechanism. The provincial cabinet also approved establishment of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sugarcane and Sugar beet Control Board in the province.