Cabinet says yes to establishment of 337 Sahulat Bazaars

LAHORE – The Punjab cabinet which met under the chair of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Tuesday approved the establishment of 337 Sahulat Bazaars and Sahulat Counters across the province to provide essential commodities to the people at subsidised rates.

As per the cabinet’s approval, a 10kg flour bag will be provided at Rs430 along with the provision of fruits, vegetables, rice and pulses at subsidised rates. The chief minister directed the cabinet committee for price control to take immediate steps in this regard. He said that Sahulat bazaars would benefit the people and more steps would also be taken to facilitate the public.

The provincial cabinet also took a good number of other decisions to address governance issues in various departments. The meeting approved the first provincial sports policy 2020, according to which, a sports endowment fund will be established along with the establishment of sports infrastructure, academies and geo-tagging of the database. Insurance schemes and sports medicines are also included in this policy. Sports grounds are being developed in 200 villages and identification of lands has been completed for the establishment of 1,400 more grounds. Also, multipurpose tehsil sports complexes are also being constructed in 65 tehsils. The CM has instructed to take every step to promote sports culture and provision of facilities to the sportsmen.

The meeting also approved Punjab Irrigation, Drainage and Rivers Act 2021 to identify irrigation rights and better management of Varabandi. This act will also help in the construction of new dams, improvement in groundwater recharge and dam safety. The Agri tube wells will be registered to maintain underground water level. Extension in the lease of nazul land for Behbood Complex of Behbood Association in Shams Qari, Chamba House Lane, GOR-I, Lahore was approved as well.

Usman Buzdar directed a ministerial committee to review and submit its recommendations about the transfer policy of the Irrigation Department. Similarly, a committee was constituted to submit recommendations after a review of affiliation procedure and guidelines for affiliation with public sector institutions under Private Sector Universities/ Institutions Punjab 2021. It was also approved to abolish contradicting sections of contract appointment policy 2004 for recruitment after reaching the age of superannuation. This will remove ambiguity between contract and reemployment.

The cabinet approved to include PCP airgun/ CO-II airgun/ silencer airgun in Section-9 of Punjab Wildlife Amendment Act 2007 so that these weapons could not be used for hunting. Ban has been imposed on using airguns with more than 800 meters per second velocity for hunting purposes.

Also, amendment in Punjab Industries (Control on Establishment and Enlargement) Ordinance 1963 was approved along with the decision to present PPSC report 2020 before Punjab Assembly. The cabinet decided to devolve rights at the grassroots under Section 2(C) of The Punjab Hotels and Restaurants Act 1976. This will accord district management (district commissioner) specific rights of hotels and restaurants’ management. The Punjab Travel Agencies Rules 2021, Punjab Hotel and Restaurant Rules 2021 and Punjab Tourist Guide Rules 2021 were also approved along with the approval of the resignation of chairman Lahore Central Business District Authority.

The cabinet gave ex post facto approval of the wheat procurement target while the Punjab government will provide 100,000 metric tonnes of wheat to KPK province. Punjab bank’s financial audit for 2017-18 and the decisions made in the 43rd, 44th and 45th meetings of the cabinet were also approved. The cabinet appreciated the CM’s vision for providing relief to the citizens and congratulated him for presenting a historic budget.

The CM said that the budget 2021-22 was not a detail of figures but a comprehensive roadmap for composite development. “A separate district development package has been chalked out, and Annual Development Programme of Rs560 billion is designed according to the needs of the people,” he said and advised the opposition to go through the budget as the era of one-man show had ended and decisions were made with consultations. Provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, chief secretary and others attended the meeting.

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