LAHORE – The Punjab Cabinet, which met here on Saturday with Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in the chair, gave its approval to setting up three women universities in the province – one each in Bahawalpur, Sialkot and Faisalabad.

Shahbaz Sharif said the committee, constituted for setting up Punjab Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority, had formulated its recommendations. “However, before giving the final approval for the Authority, it has been decided that those recommendations be widely publicised for getting public opinion,” he added.

“The committee should also consult all the stakeholders for setting up this Authority. After completing the process within 15 days, it should be presented for approval in the next Cabinet meeting,” the chief minister further said.

The Cabinet unanimously seconded the proposal of setting up the regulatory authority for private educational institutions. The Cabinet meeting, held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, also took various other important decisions. It also approved setting up of a Knowledge City at Rakh Dera Chahal. It also approved the Evacuee Trust Properties (Management and Disposal) Amendment Bill 2012 and the policy to ply CNG buses in big cities.

The meeting decided that recommendations with regard to setting up an information technology university of international standard will be submitted in the next Cabinet meeting. But it said that the Net Café Regulations Act should be submitted again after reviewing all its aspects.

Addressing the meeting, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that dream of development could not be realised without education, adding that his government was taking revolutionary steps for the improvement of this sector. He said there was a dire need for establishing an engineering and information technology university of the international standard in Pakistan.

“A decision for setting up of such a university has already been taken during my visit to Turkey,” the chief minister revealed. He, however, said speedy steps would have to be taken for the early execution of the project. He said that government has also taken solid measures for women empowerment and is pursuing an effective programme for equipping them with modern knowledge.

Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that Rakh Dera Chahal would be utilised for promotion of educational activities, where educational institutions of international standard would be set up. He said that provision of quality transport facilities to the masses has been started and a separate bus service for the women has also been launched. He disclosed 575 more CNG buses were being imported. “Besides Lahore, these buses will run in Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Bahawalpur.

On the sensitive issue of CNG “outages”, the Chief Minister directed the authorities that CNG should be provided to public transport uninterruptedly, adding that he will soon meet Federal Minister for Petroleum in this regard. He also ordered the Transport Secretary to formulate recommendations in order to run mini buses in small cities.

The Chief Minister constituted a Cabinet committee headed by the Law Minister with regard to amendments in Section-19 of the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act 2006. The Chief Minister directed to constitute a committee headed by Chief Secretary regarding provision of facilities to special persons and amendment in Punjab Social Services Board Ordinance 1970 said that this committee might submit its recommendations after reviewing all matters.

The meeting decided that cabinet committee headed by Law Minister should review again the proposed amendment in the draft law of Zakat & Ushr Act. Giving formal approval to the proposal of Net Café Regulations Act (Punjab Cyber & Gaming Café Regulations Act 2012) the cabinet desired that the same might be submitted in the next cabinet meeting for approval after reviewing its all aspects. The meeting also gave approval to the classification of ostrich as livestock / poultry instead of wildlife.

ENVOY: Ambassador of France in Pakistan Philippe Theibaud called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif here on Saturday. Matters pertaining to mutual interest and cooperation in various sectors were discussed during the meeting. Member National Assembly, Rana Tanvir Hussain and Chairman Planning & Development were also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif expressed his deep sense of grief and sorrow over the death of father of former Advocate General Khawaja Haris. He also expressed his sorrow over the death of Mohsin Shah Bukhari, Member Sindh Assembly.