BAHAWALPUR: The Punjab government does not intend to close down any department in either of the South Punjab secretariats in Bahawalpur and Multan, and those closed down will be restored immediately.

This was stated by South Punjab Livestock Secretary Aftab Ahmed Peerzada while talking to Dawn here on Monday.

Mr Peerzada quoted the principal secretary to the chief minister, Tahir Khursheed, as saying that the government had established the secretariats for the resolution of problems of the local populace.

Livestock secy says CM to review situation

Mr Khursheed had presided over a meeting of south Punjab secretaries on Saturday and informed them that since the administrative powers had already been delegated to them, there should be no confusion and they were free to use their authority to deliver to the people. He had told them that their next meeting would be presided over by the chief minister soon to review the situation in this regard.

Last week, the finance, services and general administration and planning and development departments had been closed down from Bahawalpur and two from Multan. Following this development, rumours were rife that the government might be moving to wind down the two South Punjab secretariats.

Regarding the transfer of south Punjab additional chief secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman, Mr Peerzada said the former’s services in the federal capital were mandatory for his promotion to Grade-22, and he was relieved from Punjab the other day. The appointment of Mr Zaman’s replacement was under process and could be announced by the government in a couple of days.

He also claimed that after assuming charge, his department was diverting all its attention towards the rehabilitation of eight livestock farms in south Punjab, launching business advisory service for the promotion of livestock and improving their health, particularly in the mountainous areas of Dera Ghazi Khan division and Cholistan desert.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2021

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