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LAHORE: The Punjab governor on Wednesday administered oath to the 12 newly inducted provincial ministers at a ceremony at Governor’s House.

Those who took oath as ministers are: Pir Syed Saeedul Hassan Shah (Auqaf and Religious Affairs), Mehar Muhammad Aslam (Cooperatives), Syed Husnain Jahania Gardezi (Management and Professional Development), Muhammad Ajmal (Social Welfare and Baitul Maal), Muhammad Akhlaq (Special Education), Ashifa Riaz (Women Development), Shaukat Ali Laleka (Zakat and Ushr), Zawar Hussain Warraich (Prisons), Mian Khalid Mahmood (Disaster Management), Muhammad Jahanzaib Khan Khichi (Transport), Ijaz Masih (Human Rights and Minority Affairs).

It is learnt that MPA Muhammad Akhtar (PP-219) was also inducted into the Punjab cabinet and is yet to be given a portfolio.

With the new induction, the cabinet has swelled to 36 members, besides five special assistants and four advisers.

The Article 130(6) of the Constitution says the total strength of the cabinet shall not exceed 15 members or 11pc of the total membership of a provincial assembly, whichever is higher. While media is debating that Punjab can have a 41-member cabinet, if the 11pc formula is applied, because the Punjab Assembly has a strength of 371 members.

Sources in the Punjab government said the advisers and special assistants were invited to attend the cabinet meeting but they were not its regular members. Citing an example, they said, if the government required cabinet’s approval on a matter through circulation of the agenda, it was not sent to the advisors and special assistants.

The oath-taking ceremony was attended by Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani, PA Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari, Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan and other ministers including Raja Basharat, Aslam Iqbal, Chaudhry Zaheeruddin, Raja Ammar Yasir, Murad Rass and Mohsin Leghari, police IG Muhammad Tahir, senior civil servants, parliamentarians, lawyers, journalists and members of the civil society.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2018