LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has announced a financial assistance package for the flood affectees of Southern Punjab, under which Rs40,000 will be distributed among each one of them in two equal installments.

The financial assistance will be distributed among the flood affectees through the Khadim-e-Punjab Card. Shahbaz also announced waiving off Abiyana tax, besides providing free seeds for the next crop to the farmers in the areas declared calamity-stricken.

The chief minister was addressing flood affectees after offering Eid prayers in the Qalandar Bakhsh Ridhani village of Dera Ghazi Khan district’s Rojhan tehsil. He also sacrificed animals and distributed Eid gifts among children on this occasion, as well as freely mingled with the local people and exchanged Eid greetings with them. The flood affectees expressed their happiness and joy at finding the chief minister among them and thanked him for the financial package.

While addressing the flood affectees, Shahbaz said that he would live and die with the people and no power on earth could keep him away from the poor and calamity-hit people. “I will not rest until each and every house destroyed in the flood is reconstructed,” he assured.

The chief minister said that he celebrated last Eid with the flood affectees and he was again with the calamity-hit people on Eid this year. “My bond with the people is lasting,” he stated.

Shahbaz said that the Punjab government was carrying on rehabilitation work on priority basis. He also directed the authorities concerned to expedite the pace of rehabilitation work, besides developing a mechanism for the distribution of financial assistance in a transparent manner.

MPA Sardar Atif Hussain Khan Mazari, Dera Ghazi Khan Commissioner and District Coordination Officer Muhammad Nawaz Warraich, Dera Ghazi Khan District Police Officer Dr Muhammad Shehzad Asif, Sardar Musharraf Khan Mazari, concerned officers and elite of the area also accompanied the chief minister.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday lauded the contractors and labourers engaged in the Metro Bus Project for continuing work even during Eid holidays.

Shahbaz said that the labourers working on the project had given preference to the convenience of the general public over their personal joys for which he was thankful to them.

In a statement, the chief minister said that the continuation of work on the project during Eid holidays augured well, and the contractors and labourers deserved credit. He maintained that if work continued with the same pace, the project would soon be completed.

Shahbaz hoped that with the completion of the Metro Bus Project, Lahorites would enjoy modern, comfortable and speedy travelling facilities. He said that the journey from Gajumata to Shahdara, which used to take several hours, would now be completed in minutes.

Also, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the criminal involved in molesting and murdering an innocent boy is not a human but a beast, and that he will not escape due punishment for the offence.

Shahbaz was talking to the media after condoling with the family of the ill-fated boy Sajid Ali, who was subjected to criminal assault and murdered, in Kahna on Monday. He directed the authorities concerned that the challan of this tragic incident be completed at the earliest and sent to an anti-terrorist court.

Condoling with Sajid’s parents, Shahbaz assured that justice would be provided to them at all costs. He said that the case would be sent to an anti-terrorist court, so that the criminal was brought to justice at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Italian Ambassador in Pakistan Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani called on Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday and extended him Eid greetings.

Matters of mutual interest also came under discussion during the meeting. The wife of the Italian Ambassador was also present on the occasion. Exchange of gifts took place at the end of the meeting.