KP cabinet okays Rs525m to shift seized timber from Chitral to Chakdara

Published August 14, 2021
Locals carry wood illegally chopped down from Ghwarejo forest in Miandam, Swat. — Dawn/File
Locals carry wood illegally chopped down from Ghwarejo forest in Miandam, Swat. — Dawn/File

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Friday approved Rs525 million funds for the transportation of the 1.494 million cubic feet illegal timber from Arandu area of Lower Chitral district to Chakdara depot for sale.

It met with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair and was attended by ministers, acting chief secretary and administrative secretaries.

The trees illegally cut down in Arandu Gol area on the southern part of Lower Chitral district have been lying in the open for several years due to legal issues and wrangling among government departments.

The forest department had recommended to the cabinet in a summary that since Lower Chitral’s district administration and Pakistan Army were ready to provide ‘atmosphere congenial for forceful seizure and departmental salvage of illegally harvested timber, so using this option, 1.494 million cubic feet of unlawfully fallen timber lying in Arandu Gol should be salvaged’.

Timber sale proceeds to be transferred to forest uplift fund

It also said that the amount from the sale of the timber, which was estimated to be around Rs2.3 billion, would be transferred to the forest development fund.

The department also asked the cabinet for Rs525 million funds for the ‘departmental salvage’ of that timber from the finance department.

A statement issued here said the cabinet took up 18 agenda and five additional items and approved amendments to the Post Graduate Medical Institute Rules.

The amendments provide for the hiring of technical staff for the efficient operationalisation of skills laboratory under the PGMI, which is working under the administrative control of the health department and plays an effective role for the education and training of health staff.

The cabinet also approved the signing of an agreement with China and Uzbekistan under which three cities of the province will be declared sister cities of one Uzbek and two Chinese cities.

Under the agreement, the Chinese city of Xichang and Haripur, Komang city of China and Abbottabad, and Tarmeez city of Uzbekistan and Peshawar have been declared sister cities.

The cabinet also approved Shuhada Package for the heirs of 98 personnel of the Special Police Force.

It also gave approval to the KP Schools Bags (limitation and weight) Rules, 2021.

The rules provide for the punishments and fines for the violators of restrictions on schoolbag weight in public and private schools.

The statement said the legislation would ease burden of schoolchildren carrying heavy bags and address their negative impact on their health.

The cabinet also approved amendments in KP Protected Forest Management Rules 2005 and the amended rules would ensure payment of royalty to the owners.

Also, it, in order to ensure self sufficiency in power sector and generate the maximum electricity through hydel potential of KP, approved a 10 years draft business model and strategy to ensure the smooth financing of the ongoing and new hydel projects.

The cabinet approved the appointment of Barrister Asfandiyar Khan as member (legal) to the Environment Protection Tribunal on contractual basis on the recommendations of the Peshawar High Court.

It also approved provision of additional land for the establishment of engineering and medical universities in Swat.

The cabinet approved the KP Public Private Partnership Amendment Act, 2021, paving the way for the online registration of firms.

It also approved the cost-sharing agreement between the UNDP and KP government under the Strengthening Role of the Law project to ensure its successful implementation.

The project’s main objective is to establish an international standard forensic laboratory costing a total of Rs800 million for which the provincial government has already provided a suitable piece of land in Regi Lalma Township, Peshawar.

The cabinet approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Coal Mines Rules, 2021, under the KP Mines Safety Inspection and Regulation Act, 2019. It approved amendments to the KP Mines and Mineral Act, 2017.

It also approved amendments to the West Pakistan Land Revenue Rules, 1968, to ensure transparency in revenue records.

The chief minister directed all administrative secretaries to ensure the framing of rules in their respective departments under the bills passed by the provincial assembly within one month and submit the report to that effect to the cabinet in next meeting.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2021

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