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LAHORE: The provincial cabinet, which met here on Monday with Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in the chair, approved the use of Chinese Yuan for the exchange of foreign currency for energy agreements.

The cabinet also accorded approval to “universal health coverage programme” to provide health insurance to 100 percent population of the province by December 2021 and constituted a ministerial committee to move forward in this regard.

The cabinet approved “Thal University” in Bhakkar along with in-principle approval of amendments in Evacuee Trust Properties and Displaced Person's Laws (Repeal) Act, 1975.

The cabinet’s standing committee for legislation will submit a final report after a detailed review. The cabinet directed to early advertise the final deadline as these amendments will help dispose of the pending land claims. It was also decided in principle to establish Lahore Central Business District Development Authority to promote business activities at Walton Airport and its surrounding areas by providing facilities to investors.

The meeting approved the establishment of the Sialkot Development Authority while giving in-principle approval to the Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority (Appointment & Conditions of Service) Rules, 2020.

It was further decided to provide alternative land in Yazman and Fort Abbas as a substitute of 1626.2 acres of land allotted for army welfare scheme in Bhakkar district.

The meeting decided to withdraw the collection of motor vehicles taxes through post offices and draft management law and transfer of properties under Section 19 of the Development Authority Act, 2014. It also decided to amend Section 16 of Punjab Urban Immovable Property Tax Act, 1956 as it would authorise the excise department to seal the properties of defaulters.

The cabinet allowed Infrastructure Development Authority Punjab to start its activities in KPK to assist the government there. The federal government’s decision relating to the establishment of a permanent secretariat of the council of common interests was endorsed along with the approval of amendments in Ravi Urban Development Authority Act, 2020. The authority was also allowed to use the remaining portion of five billion rupees loan in other heads.

The cabinet also accorded in-principle approval to service rules for the promotion of police SPs and DSPs. This would benefit hundreds of officers awaiting promotions for years.

Meanwhile, it was also decided to close down ATC courts in Sargodha and Rawalpindi along with in-principle approval of Punjab government rules of business for South Punjab. Similarly, a criterion of perks and privileges for chairperson Punjab Women Protection Authority was approved.

Moreover, PML-N MPA Azhar Abbas Chandia called on Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office on Monday and discussed public problems of his constituency. The CM assured to early resolve the constituency related problems and Azhar Abbas Chandia reposed his trust in Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

Talking on this occasion, the CM said that his doors are open to all and solving the problems of assembly members was his responsibility. Muzaffargarh has also been given a special development package as he is sincerely engaged in serving the masses, he added. The opposition leaders’ behaviour is contrary to the national interest as it is conspiring against the development by promoting chaos. The government has accelerated the development journey to backward areas, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021