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PESHAWAR: The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has approved the first-ever food security policy and plan for a period of ten years with a huge financial allocation of Rs.236 billion.

Chief Minister KP himself will review the implementation status of the project on monthly basis. The approval was accorded during a meeting of the provincial cabinet meeting held here with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan in the chair. The meeting was also attended by Cabinet members, Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, SMBR, Additional Chief Secretary and administrative secretaries.

Briefing the media regarding the decisions of the cabinet, Provincial Minister Kamran Bangash while accompanied by newly inducted Minister Arshad Ayub said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the first province to approve the much-needed food security policy to address shortage of wheat, sugar and other food items. He declared it a landmark achievement which will not only suffice the province in food items but would also generate employment opportunities in the province.

About the salient features of the food policy, Kamran Bangash stated that southern part of the province had great potential for achieving the goal of Food Security where irrigational channels particularly CRBC scheme and other water courses will be channelized, Public - Private partnership will be encouraged, woman participation will be ensured to alleviate poverty and generate employment opportunities. The project is expected to generate billions in revenue on annual basis. Kissan Card worth Rs 55 Billion is part of this policy, Kamran Bangash remarked.

The cabinet, in prior consultation with Public Service Commission KP, also declared the recent screening test conducted by Public Service Commission KP for induction into the Provincial Management Service (PMS) as null and void and allowed all the candidates to directly appear in the written examination. This decision will ensure maximum competition as mere screening test is not sufficient for syllabus related examination aimed at evaluating the ability of the candidates.

Kamran Bangash further stated that the cabinet also discussed in details the ensuing local bodies’ elections in the backdrop of decision of Peshawar High Court; holding of the NC/VC elections on party basis. He added that provincial government had great respect for judiciary and Election Commission of Pakistan and is fully prepared for holding of Local Bodies Elections.

The cabinet formed a four members’ cabinet committee comprising Taimour Salim Jhagra, Shaukat Yousafzai, Shahram Khan Tarakai and Kamran Bangsah to discuss modalities as well as work out technical issues with the Election Commission of Pakistan. In light of the decision of apex court, the cabinet also approved regularization of 519 employees of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Education Foundation and their subsequent merger into the Directorate of Higher Education.

The cabinet, keeping in view the Covid emergency situation also approved monthly fee concession for the students to provide relief to the parents under the epidemic control and emergency Act 2020. The schools charging more than Rs. 6000 monthly fee will provide 20% concession while school charging less than Rs. 6000 monthly fees will provide 10% concession in the fee. It merits a mention here that the government had earlier announced fee concession which had been extended for another three months.

The cabinet also allowed one-time exemption in KPPRA rules for purchase of high quality goats from Turkey. The cabinet approved re-constitution of KP information Technology Board in additional to approving fresh positions for Counter Terrorism Department in merged Districts. The cabinet with a view to facilitate more people also approved the extension of Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar (WSSP) to 23 additional semi urban union councils. Previously, WSSP was confined to only 42 union councils.

The provincial cabinet also approved to extend the jurisdiction of Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) to all phases of Hayatabad, Regi Model Town (All zones), GT Road Peshawar, Motorway confluence till motorway to Toll Plaza, Kohat road up to Peshawar urban limits, Nasir Bagh Road, Warsak Road, Charsada road, all areas where horticulture work have been carried out including Nowsehra, Akora and Jehangrira areas and all areas notified under section-iv of Gandahara City.

The Chief Minister, on this occasion stated that performance of PDA will be properly monitored.

The cabinet meeting approved to declare Chinese province Qinkghai and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as sister provinces and Xining and Peshawar as sister cities.

The cabinet also approved to transfer 15 kanal land of the Forest reserved land to Gallyat Development Authority for outsourcing of the already established Rest Places. The cabinet, on this occasion, approved amendments in the Tourism Act 2019, in order to ensure better management and development. The cabinet approved to bring four union councils of tehsil Balakot, Kewai, Ghanool, Mohndri, and Khagan back into the jurisdiction of Kaghan Development Authority.

In order to extend financial assistance to the artists, the provincial cabinet also approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa deserving Artist Welfare Endowment Fund Bill 2021. The cabinet, on this occasion, approved the nomination of Hassan Fareed as Director Board of directors, Rashakai special Economic Zone Development and Operation Company.

The provincial cabinet also accorded approval to the appointment of Said Mahmood as Vice Chairman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment and Trade for a period of three years and Ayaz Ali, CEO Interlink Communication Pvt. Ltd. as its Additional Member. The cabinet also empowered NADRA to issue succession certificates to legal heirs of movable and immovable properties. This step will facilitate the public to a larger extent to easily get the certificate.

The Chief Minister directed the concerned quarters to take up the matter with NADRA authorities to establish facilitation counters at Divisional level for facilitation of public.

The cabinet also approved the establishment of Upper Swat Development Authority. This will help in the promotion of Tourism in beautiful valley of Swat. The cabinet approved a supplementary grant of Rs.300 million as fertilizer subsidy.

The Chief Minister directed the cabinet members to prepare a schedule of visit to their respective areas, hold “Khulee Katcheries” and resolve the problems of the masses, concerning their respective departments, at their door steps. Chief Minister also directed P&D Department to link preparation of PC-I for construction of small dams with Command Area Development as well as construction of water courses and water channels.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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