Punjab cabinet approves various drafts, laws ahead of govt’s 100 days

Published November 24, 2018
The CM Buzdar-chaired committee approves several draft laws. — File
The CM Buzdar-chaired committee approves several draft laws. — File

LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet on Friday took up a heavy agenda approving various legislative businesses on the recommendations of the cabinet’s standing committee on legislation.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Punjab government is completing its first 100 days in a week.

The cabinet retained the ban on recruitments on posts from BPS-1 to 15. Similar to the previous practice, respective administrative departments will have to move summaries for relaxation of the ban in specific cases after which the cabinet committee will present its recommendations. Health and education departments will be permitted to recruit on priority, the cabinet decided.

The Punjab Public Service Commission, however, will continue recruiting candidates regularly in BPS-16 and above.

The cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar here on Friday, approved draft law for granting concession on property tax in six computerised districts as well as policy on relocation/shifting of sugar mills in the province. It also approved Punjab Industrial Policy 2018 as well as draft Punjab Occupational Safety and Health Act 2018, Punjab Domestic Workers Act 2018 and Punjab Labour Policy 2018.

The cabinet also approved the draft act for establishment of Namal Institute in Mianwali. During the previous government, the Punjab higher education department had kept the act pending.

Approval was also granted to auction 22 luxury vehicles following a suo motu case regarding utilisation of big vehicles by ministers and officers beyond their entitlement. The cabinet, however, decided to retain and provide six bulletproof vehicles to police for security, while 10 luxury vehicles would be placed in the pool. The chief minister directed for constitution of a high-level committee that would devise a unified policy for the allotment of government vehicles.

The cabinet also approved implementation of Health Insurance Programme across the province as well as exemption of Punjab Sales Tax for province-wide implementation of the programme.

Draft amendment to the Punjab Motor Vehicles Rules 1969 under Provincial Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1965 was approved to introduce automated registration card in the province. Drafts of amendments to the Punjab Restaurant Invoice Monitoring System Rules 2015 and Punjab Sales Tax for Service Enforcement Rules 2014 were also approved.

The meeting also accorded approval to leaves for performing Haj and Umrah as well as delegation of powers to grant financial assistance and draft amendment to the Indus River System Authority Act 1992 (Chashma Right Canal Lift Irrigation Canal project). Draft laws relating to enforcement of provincial sales tax on intercity transportation, transportation of luggage through roads or provision of services through pipelines were also approved.

The cabinet approved the draft act for bifurcation of Punjab Institute of Neurosciences from Ameeruddin Medical College/Postgraduate Medical Institute, Lahore. It also approved the draft relating to the nominations and constitution of search committees for dealing with relevant matters, including determination of educational qualification, experience among others, for filling the post of vice chancellor of Punjab-Tianjin University of Technology, Lahore. Draft laws about policy for reallocation of sugar mills and the establishment of Punjab Skills Development Authority were also approved. The notification regarding establishment of Punjab University of Technology in the Rasul town of Mandi Bahauddin was also validated by the meeting.

Meanwhile, amendments to the Punjab Right to Information Act 2018, Punjab Right to Public Service Act 2018, Police Order 2018 (ADR committees), Punjab Prevention of Conflict of Interest Act 2018 and Punjab Whistleblower Protection Act and Vigilance Commission Act 2018 were approved by the cabinet.

Supplementary grant for the release of arrears worth Rs4.60 billion for the 1,263-megawatt re-gasified liquefied natural gas power project of Punjab Thermal Power Limited in Jhang was also approved during the meeting. The meeting also validated the audit reports of the auditor general about public sector companies as well as reports about the Punjab government’s civil works department, commercial audit and evaluation receipt of taxes, forestry department and others for 2016-17 and 2017-18.

The cabinet decided to constitute a cabinet committee for the construction of Dadhocha Dam on Ling River on build-operate-transfer basis; as much as 35 million gallons water would be provided to Rawalpindi from this dam, the meeting was told.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said implementation of the industrial policy would help increase investment and employment opportunities in the province.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2018

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