LAHORE                -              Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has approved Multan Development Package worth billions of rupees. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi thanked him for approving this package and added that Usman Buzdar had won the hearts of the people. MNA Amir Dogar said that it was their luck that a person like Usman Buzdar was the chief minister of the province.

Assembly members from Multan called on chief minister Usman Buzdar at his office here on Monday. While talking to MNAs and MPAs from Multan, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said that Multan was his second home and he had a deep-rooted attachment with this city. “I am the custodian of rights of every backward area, including Multan, and implementation on this package will be personally monitored by me,” he said. Problems like sewerage and clean drinking water in Multan will also be resolved and water filtration plants will be installed in the constituencies of assembly members.

He told that a project of establishing mother and child hospital would also be presented before the cabinet for approval. Along with it, the P&D department will identify development priorities after reviewing the development package. He said that assembly members would be consulted for the identification of development projects of the next annual development programme of the financial year 2020-21. Relevant secretaries would also attend these meetings, he added.

The chief minister said that funds allocated for Multan during the current financial year would be provided on a priority basis and an announcement would be made after reviewing big city allowance for Multan and all other divisional headquarters. The government would also start new projects for improving health and educational facilities in Multan, he said. The chief minister said that steps would be taken for repair and maintenance of roads to meet the requirements of Multan city and the federal government would also be approached for the establishment of a special economic zone in Multan. The government would also take immediate steps to complete northern and southern bypasses, he added.

He said that dualization of Multan-Vehari Road project would be started through public-private partnership and necessary steps would also be taken to solve traffic problems of Multan city.

He said that development projects were being formulated in consultation with assembly members in Punjab for the first time adding that fundamental problems of the people would be solved by the completion of development projects under Punjab Municipal Service Programme. Usman Buzdar said that funds allocated for southern Punjab could not be reallocated after geofencing and added that he would strive to give rights to the cities that had remained neglected for years.

During the meeting, Multan development package, progress on ongoing development schemes and ADP schemes of next financial year came under discussion.

The parliamentarians presented their proposals. Those who called on the chief minister included Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, MNAs including Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar, Ahmad Hussain Dharr, Rana Muhammad Qasim Noon Muhammad Ibrahim Khan and Provincial Minister Dr Muhammad Akhtar Malik. MPAs including Javed Akhtar, Muhammad Saleem Akhtar, Nawabzada Waseem Khan, Zaheer-ud-Din Khan Alizai, Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi, Malik Wasif Mazhar, Mian Tariq Abdullah and Qasim Abbas Khan, Secretary Finance, Secretary Primary & Secondary Healthcare, Secretary Local Government, Secretary P&D, and Commissioner and DC Multan. Commissioner Multan Division gave a briefing about development schemes under the development package.

CM directs to auction condemned items in govt offices

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar directed to immediately auction condemned vehicles, machinery and other equipment in government offices and issued directions to the Chief Secretary and IG Police that all government departments, divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners auction the condemned items under the rules.

He directed that the auction process should be expedited and government offices be neat and clean. An amount of Rs25 crore has been collected through the auction of condemned items in the Central Police Office and other police stations in the province. Similarly, 25 crore rupees have also been collected through the auction of condemned items of government offices, commissioners and deputy commissioners’ offices. It may be added that staff, as well as visitors, were facing difficulties due to condemned items lying in government offices for many years. Now, 50 crore rupees have been deposited in government kitty in the first phase after the auction of condemned items.

CM condoles death of prominent journalist Shariful Mujahid

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has expressed a deep sense of sorrow and grief over the sad demise of renowned scholar, historian, journalist, writer and educationist Sharif-ul-Mujahid. In his condolence message, he extended heartfelt sympathies and condoled with the bereaved family and prayed that May Allah Almighty rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage and strength to the bereaved family members to bear this irreparable loss. He said that people like Sharif-ul-Mujahid were recognition and pride of society.

CM reviews development schemes

A high-level meeting was presided by Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar which reviewed the development projects relating to wildlife and fisheries department. Formal approval was given for setting up of fish markets throughout the province.

The chief minister said that the Punjab government would provide 80 percent subsidy for promoting fish farming. While approving to set up saline water aquaculture research centre in Muzaffargarh, he said that five thousand cages will be placed for fisheries at different barrages including Chashma, Taunsa barrages and Head Panjnad. It was also decided in principle to launch the Cage Fish Culture Cluster Development Programme for the promotion of fisheries.

He said that capacity building training would be provided to 750 fish farmers. Soon, the hatchery project would be inaugurated in Fazilpur and three fish nursery units were being built-in Darama, Gujja and Jampur, he added. Tilapia fish farm is being set up in Muzaffargarh as well, he added. Farms would be set up at 2.5 thousand acres under shrimp farming cluster development project. A programme of producing three thousand metric ton prawns annually is being started in Punjab which will provide job opportunities to more than two thousand people. He directed to complete projects as soon as possible for promoting fisheries. Provincial Minister for Forest, Wildlife and Fisheries Asad Khokhar, Secretary Finance, Secretary Forests, Wildlife & Fisheries, DG Fisheries and others also attended the meeting.

DFID head calls on CM, discusses development projects

The new DFID head in Pakistan Ms Annable Gerry called on Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office here on Monday. The chief minister congratulated her and expressed good wishes. He said the welfare of the people is a collective objective as well as health and education are among the top priorities of the PTI government.

New educational institutions are being established in Punjab. The government welcomes the cooperation of DFID in the journey of public service, he said. He told that the Punjab government had launched several projects to empower the youth. Four technical universities are being set up in the province. He said that soft loans would be disbursed to the youth for business and institutions would be set up for the treatment of blood diseases in Lahore along with the project of a new cardiac hospital.

Special attention was also paid to the development of backward areas, he said. Several initiatives have been taken for the welfare of women, and the government is also investing in human development. He said the programme of providing relief to the people will be moved ahead by keeping close liaison with DFID. He said that the cooperation of DFID in the mission of public service is significant.

Ms Annabel Gerry said that DFID would continue supporting Punjab government for the betterment in education, health, skilled-development and other sectors. DFID representative in Punjab Janal Shah, Governance Group Head of DFID Pakistan Ms Sarah Cooper, Provincial Minister Finance Hashim Jawan Bakhat, Chairman P&D, Secretary Finance, Secretary P&D and others were also present on this occasion.

Meanwhile, a high-level meeting was held under the chair of Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office on Monday to review the preventive measures for controlling coronavirus.

The chief minister directed to take all possible measures, besides making necessary preparations, in the province for this purpose. It was decided to arrange diagnostic kits of Coronavirus on an emergent basis. While giving approval of importing diagnostic kits, the Chief Minister directed to take all necessary measures for making the scanning system at airports more effective besides making close liaison with line departments.

Usman Buzdar directed Punjab Food Authority to strictly check fish markets and other food points and said that special attention should be paid for the cleanliness of such areas. Though the situation is normal in Punjab but we should complete all our arrangements, therefore, preventive measures developed by WHO should be strictly followed.

Secretary Primary & Secondary Health informed that no suspected patient of Coronavirus is found in Punjab. All the suspected patients found suffering from normal influenza. Surveillance and response units have been set up by the Punjab government which is functional round the clock. Isolation wards have been set up in hospitals. Screening work of more than 50 Chinese people has been completed. Coronavirus is an animal-related virus and there are some pieces of evidence of transferring of Coronavirus from human beings to other people. There is learning of spreading Coronavirus from the Chinese seafood market. Patients of Coronavirus have been reported from some other countries as well. Symptoms of Coronavirus are similar to that of pneumonia.

Advisor Health Hanif Pitafi, Mussarat Jamshed Cheema MPA, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Secretary Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education, Secretary Primary & Secondary Health, Secretary Local Government and others also attended the meeting.