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Jun 01, 2020 PRINT EDITION

LAHORE: The 17th Punjab cabinet meeting, with Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in the chair, Wednesday decided to enhance collaboration between provincial and federal governments for Ehsas programme.

The chief minister termed it a flagship initiative of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to elevate the downtrodden segments of society, saying that the Punjab government would extend full support to make it a success in the province.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Sania Nishtar gave briefing to the meeting on Ehsas programme.

The cabinet meeting took various other decisions and gave approval for changing the name of cabinet sub-committee for flood to the cabinet sub-committee for disaster management. Provincial Minister for Disaster Management Mian Khalid Mehmood would be the convener of the sub-committee.

The meeting decided to shut down Lahore Water and Sanitation Company for being a non-active public sector entity. The chief minister sought a report to determine the future of other public sector companies and directed to submit a final report at the earliest.

The meeting gave conditional approval to fix and release grant-in-aid for Sheikh Zayed Medical Complex Lahore for 2019-20. Approval of reports of Auditor General of Pakistan with regard to public sector enterprises of Punjab government for 2018-19 and public sector companies of Punjab government volume 3 of the financial year 2017-18 was also given.

Approval of the appointment of Vice Chancellor Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Bahawalpur was given while the same committee would also submit recommendations for the appointment of VC of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore.

Meanwhile, the meeting approved the first phase of implementation on Punjab Municipal Services Programme worth around Rs 27 billion. The strategy of releasing funds for 194 urban and 3,316 rural local government institutions were approved as well in the meeting so that necessary facilities could be provided to people at their doorsteps.

District-level committees would be constituted to implement this programme and the first phase would be completed by June 2020.

The chief minister said implementation of the decision of spending the toll-tax money on repair and maintenance of roads of the same area would be ensured and added that the step would make available the required funds. He ordered for estimating the damages caused in some rural areas due to recent floods and rivers erosion.

The meeting gave approval to Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Act, 2019.       After the approval, the succession certificates would be issued by National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) where special succession facilitation unit will be established. The meeting approved introduction of law reforms at the provincial level besides approving reconstitution of the board of directors of the Punjab Social Protection Authority. Permission was granted for an agreement under unilateral trust fund programme for treatment of animal diseases and foot-and-mouth control programme in different areas of the province.

The cabinet paid rich tributes to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on his death anniversary and said great leaders like him born in centuries. The Quaid-e-Azam never cared for his health in the struggle for Pakistan, added the meeting.

It is lamentable that Muslims and other minorities were badly treated in India even today. He said the persistent fanaticism of Hindus had proved the truthfulness of Quaid-e-Azam with regard to achieving a separate homeland for Muslims.

The meeting strongly condemned the lockdown and eight weeks long continuous curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir and expressed complete solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

The chief minister said Narendra Modi's government in India had turned the Occupied Kashmir into the world's biggest jail, adding sham Indian democracy had been exposed fully.

The people of Pakistan were firmly standing with their Kashmiri brethren. The meeting appreciated the performance of the cabinet committee on law and order, chief secretary, IG Police and the line departments for making foolproof arrangements during Ashura-e-Muharram.

The meeting endorsed the decisions of 16th cabinet meeting, along with approving the decisions of 12th and 13th meeting of cabinet standing committee for finance and development.

Provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, chief secretary, IG Police and others attended the meeting.