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Punjab cabinet to meet in Bahawalpur on 29th; agenda not announced

Updated December 26, 2018

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Official handout quotes CM Punjab Usman Buzdar as saying that more cabinet meetings will be held at other divisional headquarters. — File photo
Official handout quotes CM Punjab Usman Buzdar as saying that more cabinet meetings will be held at other divisional headquarters. — File photo

LAHORE: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has called a meeting of the provincial cabinet on Dec 29 at Bahawalpur.

An official handout issued here on Tuesday quotes the chief minister as saying that more cabinet meetings will be held at other divisional headquarters as well.

The Bahawalpur’s will be the first-ever cabinet meeting outside Lahore as some claim that rules of business don’t allow such a formal gathering at places other than the provincial capital.

Former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah Khan claims that under the rules of business governing cabinet working, the moot is not permissible outside the provincial capital.

Rana Sana says cabinet rules of business do not allow such gathering outside provincial capital

Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, however, differs with the opinion and asserts that “Punjab cabinet meeting may be held anywhere in the province” and the former law minister is ‘misinformed’ on the subject.

“The government’s move is not aimed at giving any message,” he says when asked what message it’s wishing to convey to the masses by holding the cabinet meeting in south Punjab.

He says he’s not yet aware about the agenda to be discussed at the Bahawalpur meeting.

Rana Sana says the PTI government is taking optic measures to hoodwink the people on the south Punjab province issue. He says as the government is not sincere in carving out the new administrative unit, it is taking such steps to divert public attention from the real question.

The holding of cabinet meeting will also burden the provincial kitty as it involves huge expenses. For, secretaries and other related staff of the departments whose issues are to be taken up in the meeting are required to be moved outside to the designated town. Besides, payment of travelling and daily allowances (TA/DA) to the officials, residences for them as well as the ministers will have to be arranged there.

Punjab Law Minister Basharat Raja and chief minister’s spokesperson Shahbaz Gill would neither take up calls nor respond to messages sent to seek their views on the agenda, objective and impact of the cabinet meetings being scheduled outside Lahore.

Meanwhile, Mr Buzdar tells a PTI delegation here that 100-day agenda has been successfully completed with the cooperation of the people and by making sincere and strenuous efforts a comprehensive roadmap of prosperity of the province has been devised.

He says he will personally monitor this roadmap which is aimed at composite development and prosperity. The reforms agenda will be speedily implemented after the successful completion of 100 days plan.

He said that education, healthcare, tourism and other sectors will be improved by introducing necessary reforms in them. In accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, work is being done on reforms agenda with speed, he added.

Mr Khan will lead the nation to its destination by using best of abilities and talents, he added.

According to our Bahawalpur correspondent, the district administration is on its toes ahead of the first visit of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and his cabinet.

The chief minister is expected to chair a high-level meeting of the provincial, regional and divisional heads of the government departments.

Part of the visit will be a high-level meeting to discuss various uplift projects of the area.

Officials say the PTI government plans to accord priority to less-developed areas and the chief minister’s visit will reflect it.

Published in Dawn, December 26th, 2018

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