KASUR: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has said the bill for increase in the lawmakers salaries, passed by the Punjab Assembly unanimously, was being reviewed on legal as well as technical grounds in the backdrop of tough economic conditions in the country.
In a media talk after planting a sapling in Changa Manga forest on the World Forest Day on Thursday, the chief minister said: “Required amendments will be made to the Punjab Assembly MPA’s salary bill and the final decision on the subject be made public.”
The chief minister was called by Prime Minister Imran Khan to Islamabad earlier this week and was conveyed his displeasure over allowing the bill increasing salary of MPAs and told to take remedial measures. The prime minister had stated that such a move would only be justified, when prosperity returns to Pakistan.
Referring to the tree plantation campaign, the chief minister said some 0.8 million saplings of different kinds had been planted in the province in connection with the World Forest Day. During the current spring season, he said, some 150m saplings would be planted to overcome smog and environmental pollution.
He said some 200 acres of land of Changa Manga forest had been retrieved during the campaign against land mafia and added that trees would be planted on the recovered forest land. “In line with the vision of PM Imran Khan, Pakistan will be made a neat and clean country,” he said.
Stressing the need for protection of wildlife, he said: “The wildlife park at Changa Manga will be restored to its original shape and a comprehensive strategy be adopted to protect wildlife across the province.” He warned that indiscriminate action would be initiated against the elements involved in illegal hunting and sale and purchase of birds and animals.
He said that clean and green Punjab campaign would continue and expressed hope that it would also benefit the coming generations.
The chief minister also ordered promotion of Sericulture – silk worm industry – at Changa Manga.
Earlier, Mr Buzdar released a hogdear and a hawk in the forest. He said that protection of wildlife and greenery was a joint responsibility of the state as well as the public.
He also ordered strict action against illegal hunting and poaching of birds and animals.
The security at Chhanga Manga park had been beefed up ahead of the chief minister’s visit, while the roads from Jamber and Chunian to Chhanga Manga were closed for traffic for about half an hour before his arrival, causing inconvenience to the motorists.
Scores of schoolchildren who had been brought to the park for planting saplings there along with the chief minister were not allowed to take part in the exercise as Mr Buzdar stayed there just for 15 minutes.
Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2019