LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet on Wednesday granted approval for the first phase of implementation of the Punjab Municipal Services Programme with a total funding of around Rs27 billion.

The cabinet in its 17th sitting presided over by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar finalised a strategy for releasing funds for 194 urban and 3,316 rural local government institutions so that necessary facilities could be provided to the people at their doorstep.

The cabinet agreed that district-level committees would be constituted to implement this programme and the first phase would be completed by June 2020.

The chief minister said the implementation of the decision of spending the toll tax money on the repair and maintenance of roads in the same area would be ensured and added that this would make available the required funds. He ordered assessment of the damage caused in some rural areas by the recent floods and land erosion.

Allows Nadra to issue succession certificates

The cabinet decided shutting down the Lahore Water and Sanitation Company (LWSC) for being a inactive public sector entity.

The chief minister sought a report determining the fate of other public sector companies and directed Dr Salman Shah to submit a final report at the earliest in this regard so that an informed decision could be made.

The cabinet approved changing the name of cabinet sub-committee for flood to cabinet sub-committee for disaster management. Provincial minister for disaster management Mian Khalid Mahmood will be the committee’s convener.

The meeting granted approval to reports of Accountant General of Pakistan on public sector enterprises of Punjab government for 2018-19 and public sector companies of Punjab government volume 3 of the financial year 2017-18.

It granted conditional approval to fix and release grant-in-aid for the Sheikh Zayed Medical Complex Lahore for 2019-20.

The cabinet approved appointment of the Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Bahawalpur, vice-chancellor and decided that the same committee would also submit recommendations for the appointment of VC of UVAS, Lahore.

The meeting extended approval issuance of succession certificates by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) under the Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Act, 2019, where special succession facilitation unit will be established.

The cabinet approved introduction of law reforms at the provincial level, besides approving the reconstitution of the Board of Directors (BoD) of the Punjab Social Protection Authority. Permission was granted for an agreement under unilateral trust fund programme for the treatment of animal diseases and foot-and-mouth disease control programme in different areas of the province.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Sania Nishtar gave a briefing about federal government’s Ehsas programme. The cabinet meeting decided enhancing collaboration between Punjab and federal governments for Ehsas programme. The chief minister termed it a flagship initiative of the PTI government aimed to elevate the downtrodden segments of society, adding that Punjab government would extend full support to the initiative.

The cabinet paid rich tributes to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on his death anniversary and said that great leaders like him were born in centuries.

The chief minister lamented that the Muslims and other minorities were being treated badly in India even today. He said the persistent fanaticism of Hindu extremists had proved the truthfulness of Quaid-e-Azam with regard to achieving a separate homeland for the Muslims.

The meeting strongly condemned the lock down and six-week long continuous curfew in India Occupied Kashmir and expressed complete solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

The chief minister said the Modi government had turned IOK into the world’s biggest jail, adding that sham Indian democracy had been badly exposed. He said the people of Pakistan were firmly standing with their Kashmiri brethren.

The meeting endorsed the decisions of 16th cabinet meeting, besides approving the decisions of the 12th and 13th meetings of the cabinet standing committee for finance and development.

Provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, the chief secretary, inspector general of police and others attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2019