LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht has reiterated that 32pc quota in government jobs is being reserved for three divisions of South Punjab for the provision of human resources to the region.
For this purpose, he said, a summary of amendments to the existing law on civil services had been prepared. The allocation of quota in jobs would improve the administrative arrangements for deployment of employees from the respective districts for the provision of services in South Punjab, he said.
Flanked by Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Mr Bakht told a press conference at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Friday that land acquisition for the secretariat and acquisition of buildings for temporary offices for relocated departments would be done before the end of the current financial year.
Development budget, funds utilisation for region to be published in separate book
“If the PTI was in required majority in the Senate then the promise of South Punjab province would have been fulfilled by now,” he said.
Mr Bakht said details of South Punjab’s annual development programme and utilisation of funds in the budget for the next financial year would be published in the form of a separate book. He said a separate development budget book would prove that the budget allocated for South Punjab would be spent in South Punjab.
He said no cuts were made to the funds announced in the budget for the South Punjab while in the past, cut were made and funds were spent somewhere else. He said the government would present business-friendly budget like current financial year for restoration of business and life affected by the Covid-19.
The finance minister said the entire cabinet of Punjab was committed to the development of South Punjab and obstacles to it were being discouraged. He said basic problems of the region were being resolved till formation of a separate province, including lack of resources, adequate representation in government jobs and public sector issues.
Answering a question on Budget 2021-22, the provincial minister said that tax relief of over Rs56bn was given in the current financial year due to the Covid-19 while the next budget would also introduce similar measures for job restoration and business growth.
The finance minister claimed that the government had sufficient resources for protection the people from the Covid-19. He said the process of issuing Insaf Health Insurance Cards in two division of Punjab would be completed this year while in the next financial year all the remaining districts would get the facility without discrimination.
Dr Firdous Awan said Shehbaz had been released from jail he would do his own politics whereas Nawaz Sharif would become a thing of the past. She said Shehbaz Sharif had been released on bail and the bail did not mean that he was innocent.
Dr Awan also announced that the government had sought the army’s support to strengthen and supplement the civil administration’s work in the wake of the third Covid-19 wave. She said the army was the most important organ of the state and it had always played an important role in the protection, defence and security of the country.
Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2021