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LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided in principle to converge the bifurcated health department into a unified entity to improve governance, save resources and end culture of blame-game.

It was bifurcated into specialised healthcare and medical education as well as primary and secondary healthcare departments by the last Shahbaz Sharif government in October 2015.

The Punjab cabinet, which met under Chief Minister Usman Buzdar at his office, constituted a committee headed by health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid to debate the issue and come up with concrete recommendations for the reunification of the department. The law minister will also be included in the committee.

The Punjab cabinet also decided to continue the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute and a committee was formed consisting of health and law ministers for suggesting measures to make the institution more effective.

The five-hour cabinet meeting decided that the chief minister and all the provincial ministers would donate their one-month salary to the Prime Minister’s Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dam Fund on the call of the premier.

The cabinet approved constitution of the steering committee on the implementation of 100-day programme of Prime Minister Imran Khan to be led by senior minister Abdul Aleem Khan. Sub-committees have also been formed for the in-time implementation of the 15-point agenda concerning Punjab.

“The progress on the 100-day programme will be reviewed and a report be submitted to the chief minister’s office,” the chief minister said.

Meanwhile, in a media briefing, Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan said the new law to create new local governments in Punjab would be in place by the middle of October and the chief minister would announce fresh elections. A standing committee was also working on the creation of south Punjab province, he added.

The cabinet also agreed to appoint Nasir Khan Durrani as head of a five-member commission to propose police reforms.

It approved the cabinet standing committees on finance and development as well as constitutional affairs. It also constituted a committee comprising ministers Raja Basharat and Chaudhry Zahreeud Din to decide the fate of luxury vehicles retrieved from civil officers. It will present its report in the next cabinet committee. On the proposal of the cabinet, it was decided that secretaries of home, public prosecution and law departments would also be members of the committee.

Taking exception to the poor performance of the Anti-Corruption Establishment, the chief minister stressed that the ACE should be revamped to make it an effective organisation.

“A committee comprising ministers for law and public prosecution has been constituted to propose reforms in the ACE,” the information minister told the media persons.

A committee led by senior minister Aleem Khan will also review matters regarding energy projects.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2018