LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Punjab government has taken solid steps for the socio-economic empowerment of women.

“Women have a key role to play in every sector for the development of the society; therefore, they should come into the practical field after completing their education,” the chief minister said while talking to Provincial Minister for Women Development Hameeda Wahiduddi when she called on him on Tuesday.

Shahbaz Sharif said that the Punjab government had taken historic steps during the last three years for the social and economic empowerment of women. He said that special centers are being set up for providing prompt justice to the women subjected to violence and police, prosecution, medical and forensic facilities would be available at these centers.

He said that the Punjab government has also adopted revolutionary measures for providing due share to women in inheritance and protection of their rights besides enhanced their job quota to 15 per cent.

Shahbaz Sharif said that women constitute 50 per cent population of the country and can play an important part in the process of progress and prosperity of the country. He said that Pakistani women are educated, talented and hardworking and have proved their mettle in different sectors. He said that women have to play an active role for the development of the country and formation of a peaceful society.

Also, a high level delegation of European Union led by Director Development & Economic Cooperation Marc Vanheukelen met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here on Tuesday. Matters regarding implementation of various conventions relating to GSP Plus status were discussed in the meeting.

The chief minister, talking to the members of the delegation, expressed deep sense of sorrow and grief over the death of foreign diplomats in Naltar tragedy. He said that he was deeply shocked and grieved over the death of two ambassadors and wives of two other ambassadors in the helicopter crash.

The CM said that awarding of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by the European Union is a good omen and is resulting in strengthening of Pakistan’s economy. He said that the EU countries have extended all out help in the granting of GSP Plus status. Effective measures are being adopted for fully benefiting from GSP Plus status and a cabinet committee has been constituted for the implementation of the conventions with regard to GSP Plus.

“The Labour Department has been given the task of elimination of child labour from brick kilns within six months. Necessary legislation has also been undertaken for the empowerment of women and minorities. Women are being given interest-free soft loans on priority basis for providing them job opportunities while 50,000 vehicles are being given to the youth including women under Self-Employment Scheme,” the CM held.

He said that steps had also been taken for socio-economic empowerment of women. He said that government is working on various projects of power generation through traditional and alternative sources for overcoming shortage of energy.

Members of the delegation appreciated the steps taken in Punjab with regard to GSP Plus status Acting head of European Union in Pakistan Stefano Gatto and other senior officials were included in the delegation.

LAND COMPUTERIsATION: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed the department concerned to positively complete within the given time computerisation of the land revenue record which aims at ending the patwari culture and ensuring access to the land record within minutes.

Presiding over a meeting on Tuesday, the chief minister said that through the Land Record Management Information System the common man will get real relief.

He said billion of rupees were spent on this project which was bound to bring revolutionary about immediate availability of ownership deed to the people and the land documents under one roof.

Chairman Planning & Development gave a detailed briefing about the progress of the project made so far. The meeting also decided to set up a separate independent institution for future monitoring and implementation of the project.

Shahbaz Sharif told the meeting that the process of computerization of more than 24,000 villages of the province has been completed. He directed that the project should be completed within stipulated period at any cost. He said that speedy progress should be made with regard to setting up of centralized data center and it should be state-of-the-art.

He said that an effective plan should be evolved for preserving old settlement record. The chief minister disclosed that service centers are fully operational in 143 tehsils of the province and its scope should be extended to sub-tehsil level. He directed that necessary steps should be taken for constituting Land Record Management Information Authority.