LAHORE: The caretaker Punjab government has in its last days has decided to amend the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) Act 2012, recommending replacement of authority’s chairmanship from chief minister to the chief secretary.

The caretaker government has called its fourth and probably the final cabinet meeting on Tuesday (today) to grant approval to the amendments suggested by cabinet’s sub-committee on legislation. Besides shifting authority’s chairmanship from chief minister to chief secretary, the amendments suggest that the Punjab local government secretary would be secretary to the authority. The Nazim of City District Government Lahore on the authority’s board will be replaced by the Mayor of Metropolitan Corporation of Lahore.

Sources say the caretaker government cabinet would ratify the sub-committee on legislation recommendation and forward it to be taken up by the new Punjab Assembly. Sources also say that it may be a futile exercise as the new government, which will be placed in a week or so, may take its own decision about amending the WCLA Act 2012.

The cabinet meeting, to be chaired by caretaker chief minister Dr Hassan Askari, will also take up the matter regarding utilization of luxury vehicles by the ministers and officers beyond their entitlement in connection with the suo motu taken up by the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

The cabinet will also grant approval to the amendments in the LDA land use rules 2014 regarding marriage/ banquet halls and marquees. It will also grant approval to the annual grant-in-aid for Alzheimer’s as well as annual report of the Ombudsman (Punjab) for the year 2017.

The Punjab higher education department secretary will also present and seek approval for the constitution of a search committee for the selection of panel for the post of vice-chancellor, University of Home Economics, Lahore.

The cabinet will also take up a request for medical treatment of son of Mian Shahid Mehmood, retired additional district and sessions judge, extension in deputation of a blood transfusion officer of BV Hospital, Bahawalpur. The C&W secretary will also present a case of grant of honorarium before the cabinet.

SECTION 144: The Punjab government has imposed Section 144 prohibiting carrying and display of all kinds of weapons including the licensed ones except those by law enforcement agencies and all types of firing across the province.

The Punjab government imposed Section 144 in the wake of threats to the law and order situation and public peace in Punjab due to ongoing threat perception, recounting of votes in various constituencies, protests and rallies by political parties and celebrations on the eve of Independence Day.

The Section 144 will remain enforced in Punjab for a period of 30 days with effect from Aug 6.

Published in Dawn, August 07th, 2018

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