LAHORE           -             Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, on Monday, has approved initial framework of Rise Punjab to promote investment and development in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

Chairman P&D presented the document of the framework in a meeting which held at 90-SQA under the chair of CM Usman Buzdar. Talking on this occasion, the CM pointed out that Punjab took the lead in devising Rise Punjab plan in the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic. He emphasised that the identification of new priorities was the need of the hour and told the participants that new steps would be taken to boost investment opportunities and development projects. A unique strategy had been devised for ensuring social protection and the provision of healthcare and educational facilities to the citizens, he added.

The CM said that the government was committed to promoting public welfare projects by implying a new approach as it was imperative to move forward with full dedication to ensure social protection of the people. He directed that a report should be submitted at the earliest after reviewing the proposal of setting up of social protection fund.

The initial document of Rise Punjab was a good effort in the backdrop of the prevailing scenario and priorities should be moulded according to the situation, he added. The CM directed to further improve the document and added that private investors would be encouraged under the public-private partnership. The public welfare projects would be started under the public-private partnership mode, he further said.

Finance minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, Advisor Dr Salman Shah, Chief Secretary, Chairman P&D and others attended the meeting.

CM calls upon the part MNAs to monitor government’s welfare initiatives

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has written a letter to party MNAs advising them to monitor the public welfare initiatives taken by the government in view of the COVID-19 situation.

In his letter, the Chief Minster emphasized that the role of elected representatives was very important in monitoring the governmental initiatives as collective efforts would help to overcome the pandemic.

The CM hoped that MNAs would utilize all their efforts to deal with the coronavirus. He explained that daily coronavirus testing capacity of Punjab province had reached five thousand, which would be enhanced to 10 thousand tests daily. “A network of field hospitals, isolation wards, high dependency units and quarantine centres has been established in Punjab”, he added.

He assured that the government fully understood the difficulties of the unemployed people due to coronavirus and told that the largest financial aid programme had been started for the people facing a financial crunch. The general public was facing difficulties due to price-hike and hoarding in Ramazan-ul-Mubarak, he maintained. He called upon the MNAs to remain in constant contact with their district administration and monitor the actions taken against hoarders and illegal profiteers. Similarly, they should also supervise anti-dengue and clean and green Punjab programme along with a review of healthcare facilities being provided in the hospitals, he said. “You should play an active role in the solution of problems being faced by the people. This difficult time will soon pass and those who fulfil the needs of the others by healing their wounds are remembered in history”, the CM concluded.  

Cabinet body on COVID-19 reviews implementation on 20-point SoPs for Mosques

On the direction of Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, video link meeting of the cabinet committee on coronavirus was held at CM’s Office.

The meeting held a detailed review of different matters including implementation on 20-points guidelines for mosques and steps taken for overcoming the coronavirus pandemic.

Law Minister Raja Basharat told the meeting that diagnostic testing facility would be enhanced and an expert working group would also be constituted in this regard. He appealed to the citizens to remain in their homes and not to leave their houses unnecessarily. Provision of quality foodstuff to coronavirus patients will be ensured and no compromise will be made in this regard, he assured.

Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid told the meeting that the total number of coronavirus patients in Punjab stood at 5,640 while 120 new cases had surfaced during the last 24 hours. As many as 73,000 tests had conducted and this capacity was being enhanced gradually, she told the meeting.

Provincial Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal reiterated that indiscriminate action would be initiated against hoarders and illegal profiteers in Ramazan-ul-Mubarak adding that artificial price-hike would not be allowed. He told the meeting that sentences for hoarding had been enhanced under the anti-hoarding ordinance, 2020. He directed the field officers to keep a vigilant eye on the prices of essential items by conducting regular visits and necessary steps be taken to stabilize the prices of daily-use items.

Chief Secretary, IG Police, ACS (Home), secretaries of health, finance and information departments as well as military officials attended the meeting while Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, SMBR, secretaries of local government, P&D, labour, industries and agriculture departments, DG PDMA and Chairman PITB participated through video link.

CM condoles death

Usman Buzdar expressed a deep sense of sorrow over the death of former national boxing champion Abdul Sattar Khan and extended sympathies to the bereaved heirs. He prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear the loss with equanimity.