LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over a cabinet meeting here on Saturday to give conditional approval to the Women Protection Bill 2015, while draft of Punjab Labour Policy was also approved.
According to a handout, it was revealed during the meeting that through successful negotiations with Chinese companies, Rs100 billion had been saved in Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project.
Addressing the meeting, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan, a historic economic package of $46 billion had been announced, including investment of $20 billion only for energy projects. He said with the cooperation of China, 10,400-megawatt projects of solar, coal, wind and hydel will be set up in Pakistan most of which would start generating electricity at the end of 2017.
He also said that 1,320MW coal-based power projects will be set up in Sahiwal, which will be completed till December 2017. Similarly, 300MW electricity project based on indigenous coal is being set up in Jhelum, which will also start working at the end of 2017, he added.
The chief minister said work was being carried out speedily on 900MW solar project in Bahawalpur and hoped that 350MW solar energy would be added to the national grid by December whereas 550MW solar energy produced by September 2016. He said the Bahawalpur transmission line was also being upgraded so the supply system of electricity could be harmonised with electricity production.
Shahbaz said China was also investing $2 billion for laying two transmission lines of 4,000MW each. He further said plans had been chalked out for generating electricity through gas in Punjab. He also said the Punjab government would set up 1,200MW gas-based energy project from its own resources and the federal government also set up 2,400MW gas-based projects in Punjab. He said a 100MW project had been completed at Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur and electricity was being provided to the national grid. He said instructions had been issued to the departments concerned to plan out the establishment of a modern industrial estate in Bahawalpur.
Talking about the security of Chinese citizens and the law and order situation in the province, Shahbaz said a special protection unit had been set up for the security of foreigners and Chinese nationals here. He said foolproof arrangements had been made in this regard and a security plan evolved for this purpose was being implemented.
He went on to say that syllabus based on topics of tolerance, patience, brotherhood, unity and peace was being introduced that would help eliminate extremism.
The chief minister directed that computerisation of police stations should further be accelerated and completed by the end of 2016 throughout the province. Mentioning the steps taken for uplift of education sector, he said the Punjab government had started ‘Parho Punjab Barho Punjab’, under which quality of education was being enhanced in schools. He said the policy of adopting a government school had also been evolved through effective implementation of this programme, which would further improve standard of education.
Giving conditional approval to The Protection of Women Bill 2015, Shahbaz directed that the cabinet committee should review it within seven days and submit a final bill in the next meeting.
Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2015
On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play