LAHORE: The Punjab government has for the first time issued warning notices to six administrative secretaries and appreciation letters to six others over released funds’ utilisation in the first quarter of the current financial year. The review was carried out on Oct 4.

The chief minister’s displeasure has been conveyed to the administrative secretaries of the Environment Protection Department; the Human Rights & Minorities Affairs Department; the Mines and Minerals Department; the Auqaf & Religious Affairs Department; the Women Development Department; and the Population Welfare Department.

Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said the government had released development funds to all administrative secretaries and asked them to spend the money for the welfare of the people. He said the government had issued notices to six administrative secretaries who showed appallingly dismal utilisation of funds and appreciation letters to six administrative secretaries to recognise their efforts towards timely utilisation of the ADP funds.

“The government plans to incentivise administrative secretaries with rewards, when their ADP utilisation performance will be reviewed for the second quarter of this financial year,” Mr Buzdar said.

Punjab govt lauds six officers for spending on the masses

The notices issued by Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal on behalf of the chief minister says the dissatisfaction letters have been issued to Environment Protection Department Secretary Syed Mubasher Hussain, Human Rights & Minorities Affairs Department Secretary Nadeemur Rehman and Women Development Department Secretary Ambreen Raza for zero per cent utilisation of ADP funds by the end of the first quarter.

Auqaf & Religious Affairs Department Secretary Nabeel Javed and Mines and Minerals Department Secretary Amir Ijaz Akbar have been issued displeasure letters for spending merely three per cent of the ADP funds while Population Welfare Department Secretary Muhammad Masood Mukhtar could spend two per cent and received the notice.

Sources say the review has been conducted of all departments and those in the lowest position have been issued warning letters and the top six appreciated.

The chief minister has cautioned the delinquent administrative secretaries that this state of affairs is unacceptable and they need to work with commitment and resolve to ensure that the ADP funds allocated for the administrative departments be utilised within the stipulated time.

“The funds need to be utilised efficiently so that the development of the socioeconomic infrastructure in the province and service delivery to the people can be improved...,” the chief minister says.

Similarly, the chief minister has appreciated the efforts of six administrative secretaries: Planning & Development Board Secretary Mujahid Sherdil; Literacy & Non-Formal Basic Education Department Secretary Sumaira Samad; School Education Department Secretary Ghulam Farid; Emergency Service (1122), Lahore Director-General Dr Rizwan Naseer; Agriculture Department Secretary Asad Rehman Gillani; and Energy Department Secretary Muhammad Aamir Jan for showing first quarter ADP spending at 60 per cent, 53 per cent, 45 per cent, 44 per cent, 29 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively.

Mr Buzdar told media persons at a news conference at the Chief Minister Secretariat on Friday that the government this year allocated 66 per cent more ADP than the last five years’ and improved funds’ utilisation to resolve the problems of the masses.

The chief minister said the provincial ministers’ performance was also being monitored to ensure improvement. “My cabinet members’ performance is far better than the performance shown during the last 70 years,” Mr Buzdar stated.

He said he was now visiting Lahore as well as other areas across the province to ensure good governance. Referring to solid waste management in Lahore, the chief minister said the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) was in a transition phase and would complete its machinery’s procurement by the end of this year.

“The LWMC is performing quite close to satisfaction level with just 10 per cent machinery,” he said and added that the company was saving Rs800 per ton waste collection. Since the company had made contracts with local companies instead of foreign companies, he said the Punjab government was also saving a lot of foreign exchange.

Mr Buzdar said the Punjab government was frequently holding meetings to keep the daily use items’ prices controlled. He said he would himself hold at least one meeting a month to review the progress on controlling prices of daily use items for the benefit of the general public.

“The best performing districts will be rewarded and those lagging behind be reprimanded,” the chief minister said. “We are here to serve the masses,” he added.

Answering a question, Mr Buzdar said Mr Hasaan Khawar had been appointed against the vacant post of SACM on Information and added that prisons minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan was made official spokesperson as a stopgap arrangement.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2021

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