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LAHORE: Chief Secretary Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal has said that delay in development projects is not tolerable and in case of a delay the administrative secretary of the department concerned would be held accountable.

Presiding over a meeting to review the mid-year progress of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) at the Planning and Development Department, the Chief Secretary said that there should be no lapse of funds allocated for the uplift schemes. He said that all departments should work hard to ensure timely and transparent utilization of funds.

The Chief Secretary directed that a mechanism be devised to further facilitate the process of release of funds and the higher authorities be informed immediately in case of any hindrance in development projects. He said that only public interest should be taken into consideration while preparing uplift schemes, adding that the departments should cooperate for the acquisition of government land for schools, hospitals, and other welfare schemes.

The Chief Secretary also issued instructions to the departments for immediate issuance of pending work orders. He said that all the administrative secretaries should regularly review the development schemes of their respective departments. Chairman P&D Abdullah Khan Sumbal briefed the meeting about the allocations, releases, and utilization of funds. The administrative secretaries of all the departments attended the meeting while the Additional Chief Secretary and secretaries of south Punjab participated through video link.

Separately, the Chief Secretary presided over a video-link meeting of all divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners at the Civil Secretariat to review prices of essential commodities including flour, sugar, availability of fertilizers, and measures against smuggling. The Chief Secretary directed the officers to continue monitoring fertilizers supply and stocks through the online portal. He mentioned that the divisional commissioners can shift fertilizers to districts in their turf as and when required. He said that crackdown against those involved in the hoarding of fertilizers and profiteering should be continued.

The Chief Secretary directed the deputy commissioners of bordering districts to keep a close watch on the smuggling of wheat. He asked the officers to show no leniency to those fleecing consumers by creating artificial price-hike and to take steps to minimize the differential between wholesale and retail prices of vegetables. He also issued instructions regarding expediting the process of registration of grocery stores under the Ehsas Ration Programme.

The divisional commissioners gave a detailed briefing to the meeting on price control measures. It was informed that action was being taken against hoarders and profiteers in districts. So far at check-posts in DG Khan, the authorities have seized 23 vehicles illegally transporting fertilizers out of the province.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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