LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet has decided to effectively implement precautionary measures in the wake of the situation arising because of the coronavirus cases surfacing in neighbouring countries.
The chief minister who was presiding over the 26th meeting of the cabinet directed the line departments to remain vigilant with regard to virus spread, a handout said on Tuesday.
The meeting was told that additional staff of the health department would be posted at all airports in the province.
Mr Buzdar said there should be no shortage of eatables being imported from neighbouring countries, especially China and Iran, where coronavirus was rapidly spreading.
He directed Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal to hold the meeting with officials and adopt measures in advance in this regard after a detailed review of the situation.
The cabinet meeting also decided to amend Sections 2(S), 21 and 38 of the Punjab Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation & Management) Amendment Act, 2007 to increase the amount of fines and sentences for illegal hunting in the province.
It was also decided that fines and sentences will be further enhanced for poaching before hunting season that would begin from Nov 1, 2020.
The meeting decided to grant permission for the hunting of 62 surplus blackbucks, 21 chinkara deer and 27 blue bull (Nilgai) in Cholistan desert.
The Punjab Occupational Safety and Health Amendment, 2019, was approved while amendment to the Punjab Fisheries Rules, 1965 was deferred.
The chief minister said complaints of contaminated water had arisen due to fish farming in dams that also provide potable water for consumption of the masses. Therefore, he said, this matter should be reviewed in detail by health, irrigation, public health engineering departments and other stakeholders and final recommendations should be presented in the next meeting.
Mr Buzdar maintained that Punjab government adopted unprecedented measures in consultation with all stakeholders to serve the people and the “wrong culture of one-man show has been done away with”.
He said the government would go to any extent to provide relief to the people.
He said timely decisions had helped the government overcome the price hike and the political, as well as administrative teams, should efficiently work to control prices because people could not be left alone.
He said it was essential to crush all mafia wherever it exists, he added. The meeting also endorsed minutes of 24th cabinet meeting.
Provincial ministers, advisers, special assistants, chief secretary and secretaries concerned attended the meeting.
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2020