Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar presided over the meeting of Punjab cabinet at his office here on Friday in which decision was made to sale up to two kilograms of sugar to an individual consumer in the Ramzan bazaars set up across the province. Food items relating to the upcoming festival of Eid will also be sold in the Ramzan bazaars from 21st Ramzan-ul-Mubarak. Semolina, vermicelli and five additional food items will be provided on subsidized rates and Punjab government will provide a subsidy of Rs 20 million in this regard.

 The cabinet meeting decided to end rebate by the Punjab government on the export of sugar and approval was also accorded to abolish subsidy on its export for the purpose of strengthening the prices of sugar. The meeting gave the approval to fix aquifer tariff (water charges) at the rate of one rupee per litter on water bottling and beverage companies using the groundwater.

This decision has been made in light of the Supreme Court directions. WASAs, local government, and irrigation department will issue notifications within their respective sphere of influence for collecting these charges. In the light of the Supreme Court directions, a separate account has been set up for the money collected under this head and a comprehensive mechanism will be devised for receiving and utilization of water charges.

The Punjab cabinet meeting gave the approval to change the name of Fort Munro Development Authority as Koh-e-Suleman Development Authority and also decided to expand the scope of this authority to the tribal areas of DG Khan and Rajanpur. For that purpose, necessary amendments will be made in the act.

The cabinet was apprised about the amendments in the transfer policy of teachers of the schools education department and a detailed briefing was also given to the participants. In line with the cabinet decision, the parliamentary party will also be briefed about the e-transfer policy of the teachers. Adoption of necessary steps in the light of court directions was approved to regularize the work charge employees of Punjab Revenue Authority.

It was also decided to amend the LDA laws with regard to the utilization of land for marquees, marriage and banquet halls, and the meeting was directed to constitute a high-level committee for amendments in the relevant laws. The cabinet meeting approved amendments in Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1967 and expressed its satisfaction over the achievement of wheat procurement target. The meeting gave approval to six monthly reports of 7th national finance commission award for July-December 2016, January-June 2017 and July-December 2017.

Annual audit reports of C&W, housing & public health engineering, irrigation, local bodies, and Infrastructure Development Authority Punjab for the year 2018-19 was also affirmed by the cabinet meeting. These audit reports will now be presented before the Punjab assembly. The meeting also confirmed the decisions made in the 10th meeting of the Punjab cabinet besides affirming the decisions of the 9th meeting of provincial cabinet committee for finance and development.

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that wheat farmers have been given full reward of their hard work and added that their rights have been fully protected by the Punjab government. I extend congratulations to the food minister and other concerned officials for achieving the wheat procurement target, he added. The Ramzan bazaars have given relief to the people and more steps will be taken to provide further relief to the people in the future. Our every step is taken in the best public interest and the journey of public service will not be stopped, he added.

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