LAHORE: The 49th provincial cabinet meeting, which met here under the chair of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, approved several laws along with consensus passage of the draft of Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA) 2021.

According to the government, the new LG system will empower the people through devolution of power at the grassroots.

The meeting reversed the decision to increase commercial property tax to provide relief to the traders. Those who have deposited commercial property tax amounts would be adjusted in the next tax fees.

Reverses decision to raise commercial property tax

In-principle approval was granted to Immovable Public Property (Elimination of Encroachments) Ordinance 2021 which would allow the imposition of damages on land grabbers along with the elimination of encroachments on the state land. The occupants involved in the occupation of the state land will have to pay the damages on a daily basis.

The meeting decided to hand over the issue of amendment to the Land Revenue Act for deciding about new administrative units to the cabinet standing committee for legislation.

The cabinet also approved immediate recruitment on vacant posts of the school education department and directed the department to take further action in this regard. Formal approval of setting up six cement plants was also granted.

The meeting also approved the amendment to the Provencal Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1965 for the registration of electric vehicles. It directed to constitute a ministerial committee to decide about the agreement between the excise department and the NRTC while giving in-principle approval of an agreement for installing radio frequency identification device (vehicles passport) in vehicles. Approval was granted to give Rs85m payment to the affected people of Sahiwal and Sialkot under the Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Programme phase-I following a social safeguard policy.

Approval was also granted to bring improvement to financial management and procurement of irrigation projects of more than Rs5bn.

The draft of the agreement and allied matters were approved for handing over the control of the Wapda-managed lower portion of the Chashma Right Bank Canal to Punjab in light of decisions of the Council Of Common Interest (CCI). Under this, repair and maintenance of the lower portion of the Chashma Right Bank Canal would be the responsibility of the irrigation department.

A relief package was approved to redress the losses that occurred to Rabi crops in 2020 due to torrential rains and hailstorm in Noorpur tehsil. It also approved rules and regulations for the post of the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) chief operating officer.

The cabinet granted ex-post facto approval to police check posts, circles and police stations set up during the last two years. An amendment to the schedule of inspectors and sub-inspectors was approved under appointment and conditions of Service Rules 2013 along with the approval of the amendment in service rules of special branch posts. The establishment of Saakar Police Station of Border Military Police in Koh-e-Sulaiman area of DG Khan was accorded.

The meeting adopted rules for the appointment of the chairman and chief executive officer of Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority.

The Punjab Development Authorities Private Housing Schemes Rules 2021 were also approved under the Punjab Development of Cities Act 1976. LDA’s rules would apply to all the development authorities in Punjab.

The cabinet approved the transfer of the Sargodha Medical College and Medical College Gujrat to the Specialised Healthcare And Medical Education Department. Similarly, the recruitment against 1,142 vacant educators posts in DG Khan was allowed.

Revised rules for Punjab Ombudsperson Nabila Khan were also passed along with the endorsement of decisions made in the 48th cabinet meeting and 63rd meeting of the cabinet standing committee on finance and development. Decisions made in the 70th to 74th meetings of the cabinet standing committee for legislation were endorsed as well.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2021

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