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LAHORE: The Punjab Cabinet in its 44th meeting with Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in the chair approved a 25 percent special allowance for more than 721,000 provincial employees of grade 1 to 19 from June 01, 2021.

The cabinet also approved Rs 7.10 billion for free medical facilities to the residents of DG Khan and Sahiwal divisions under the first phase of the universal health insurance programme. The whole population of the province will be given free health coverage up to Rs 720,000 by December this year, the CM said and directed the health department to expedite the procurement of the corona vaccine.

The cabinet approved an amendment in the Punjab Board of Revenue Act, 1957 to early decide revenue cases by withdrawing the right of second review appeal in revenue cases. The cabinet approved in principle to provide financial assistance to the rain-hit Hafizabad, Sahiwal, Okara, Pakpattan and other districts for compensation of death and financial losses and CM directed expeditious steps in this regard.

The meeting also approved amendments in the 122-year-old Stamp Act of 1899 to authorise BoR to audit private housing societies. Record of flats and multi-storey buildings will be compiled to collect revenue. The CM directed to devise a master plan for all the cities and a committee was constituted for this purpose. In-principle approval was given to exempt affordable housing projects in peri-urban areas from PRA’s sales tax. Extension in the contract of PFSA’s DG Muhammad Ashraf Tahir was approved and it was also decided to take steps to encourage new talent.

Formal approval of Imran Amin as CEO of Ravi Urban Development Authority on merit along with the nomination of new members was given. Similarly, an amendment in Punjab Arms Rules, 2017 was given to authorize deputy commissioners the transfer and modification of arms licenses.

The meeting also approved amendments in Punjab Motor Vehicles Rules, 1969 and Punjab Motor Vehicles Transaction License Rules, 2015. Biometric verification and an urgent fee processing system will be introduced to make vehicles’ registration and sale and purchase system fully transparent.

The cabinet approved Punjab Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Rules, 2021 to expedite the issuance of inheritance certificates from Nadra. Approval was granted to amend the Punjab Finance Act, 2014 and nomination of BoDs members of Punjab Agriculture and Meat Company. This will ensure redressal of complaints about the imposition of taxes at luxury houses at the grassroots.

The cabinet approved the MoU draft between DISCOs and the energy department for net metering of solar power. It also allowed taking steps for the regularization of 222 employees of the social welfare department along with a change in rules and regularization for the post of Chairman Punjab Zakat and Ushr Council.

Approval was granted to give grade 11 to grade 8 assistant librarians of the education department under the instructions of the Supreme Court. The exchange of Auqaf land with state land and Punjab Workers Welfare Fund Housing Allotment Policy, 2021 was approved for the construction of the judicial complex in Chiniot.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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