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LAHORE: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Mufti Abdul Shakoor has said that present government is striving to minimize the minorities’ hardship and difficulties by ensuring strict monitoring of evacuee lands through digitalization. In the present era digitalization is the need of the hour to attain speedy development, citing that one can access relevant information on computer screen through single click.

He was talking to media after inauguration of the Data Centre at Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) office here on Sunday.

Federal minister said that newly established data centre will maintain all ETPB properties and lands, record of leased land, and profits calculations.

He said that everyone must play his due role in curbing the corrupt practices to help save the properties of the minorities. He appreciated the ETPB for establishing data centre, asserting that entire department is being switched over to modern technology through digitalization.

Responding to a reporter’s question, the minister said that 100 percent record of the trusted land has been put online so that all record is visible for public. The ETPB Data Centre has been completed with the cooperation of Huawei Company.

In response to a question about Hajj, he said that that present coalition government gave a historic subsidy to Hajj pilgrims despite huge economic challenges. He added that when he took over as minister, he was informed that Hajj cost had reached up to Rs one million. “However, after a month-long hectic efforts and negotiations, we have succeeded to make low cost agreements for Hajj with Saudi government, as well as eliminated the role of middle man, and subsequently managed to bring down the Hajj cost Pakistani pilgrims to Rs 600,000.”

To another question, he said that Ruet-e-Hilal Committee is an independent body and no one can pressurize it to announce Eid. The government’s role is just providing it facilitation and assistant, he maintained.

On the occasion, the ETPB Chairman Habib Ur Rehman Gilani briefed media that the Data Centre would manage record of around 120,000 acres of ETPB lands in various parts of the country, 50,000 sub-units in urban areas, 12,000 rural units, and more than 100 Gurdwaras and temples. He said that geo tagging of these properties has been completed, and measurements of the ETPB properties are now available on the board’s website. The system also enabled one to watch online the board’s auction processes for various properties, he said and added that in the second phase, the people will also be able to participate in the auction process online.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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