LAHORE - The Punjab cabinet, which held its 21st meeting at CM Office with Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in the chair here on Tuesday, gave approval for amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure to empower the first-class magistrates to keep prices of commodities under control.

The cabinet meeting reviewed the price control situation and endorsed minutes of the 20th cabinet meeting and the decisions made at the 17th meeting of the cabinet standing committee on finance and development.

The meeting also gave approval for establishment of the Punjab local government finance commission and endorsed the decision to set up sessions courts in Kot Radha Kishan (Kasur) and Kot Momin (Sargodha).

The meeting also gave approval for amendments to the police rules of 1934 for tribal areas of Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan. Also, recommendations vis-à-vis priority use of natural gas under articles 158 and 172 (3) of the Constitution and exploration of mineral resources in different blocks of Khuzdar South, Surrah and Musa Khel were endorsed on the request of the Balochistan government.

1st-class magistrates empowered to control prices

The meeting decided to forward recommendations to the federal government with regard to amendments to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002. Similarly, the meeting decided to forward the matter of technical assistance of the Asian Development Bank for the training of skilled workforce to the cabinet committee for finance and development. The cabinet committee will submit its recommendations after complete review.

Addressing the meeting, the chief minister asked the cabinet members to work as a team to deliver. He said that line departments should work proactively to make the anti-polio campaign a success. “Performance of the Punjab cabinet is much better than other provinces,” he maintained. The chief minister announced that he would start visiting different districts from next week and inspect price control measures, cleanliness, law and order situation and civic amenities there. “I have empowered the chief secretary and the inspector general of Punjab Police,” he said. The service delivery mechanism, he said, would be strengthened to provide facilities to the masses and this improvement should be visible at the grassroots. He said genuine problems of the elected representatives would be solved on a priority basis. The chief minister welcomed Chief Secretary Azam Suleman and Punjab Police IG Shoaib Dastgir to the cabinet meeting and said that both officers would work vigorously for collective good of the province.

Provincial ministers, advisers, special assistants, chief secretary and administrative secretaries attended the meeting.



Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has expressed a deep sense of sorrow over the death of Lt-Col (R) Muhammad Suleman, a hero of the 1971 Indo-Paki war. In a condolence message, the chief minister paid rich tributes to the bravery and valour of Suleman and added that he had set glorious examples of bravery in the war. Buzdar extended heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family and said that may Allah Almighty rest the departed soul in eternal peace.