LAHORE, July 18: Various urgent issues were pending awaiting decision by the Punjab cabinet which since its inception early last month only met to approve the provincial budget 2013-14 and to get introduced.
Officials attribute this delay in taking up some vital issues of the province on the cabinet’s part to the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s pre-occupation with certain matters in Islamabad and his recent tour to China along with his elder brother and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“The chief minister shuttles between Lahore and Islamabad very often and is handling many important matters there,” an official said.
The cabinet’s approval is necessary for all major actions in a province under the law.
Officials said the urgent matters awaiting cabinet’s decision include the policy on agriculture income tax which had been formulated by the Board of Revenue (BoR) under direction from the federal government.
Another such matter was the approval of the ordinance seeking amendments to the Police Order 2002, allowing the provincial government to recruit sub-inspectors for revamping the police department, and simplifying the procedure for changing investigation of cases.
Yet another issue was the regularisation of the lady health visitors which the province was supposed to handle in the light of the 18th Amendment.
“And there is no indication of any cabinet meeting being held soon,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.