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LAHORE: Expressing concern over non-payment of Rs 146 billion to Punjab by the federal government, Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi regretted that the federal government has blocked legal and constitutionally-binding dues of the province.

While chairing a meeting on the development, the CM made it clear that the federal government has not given anything to Punjab from the aid given to flood affectees. The federal government has not released the share for the construction of the houses for flood victims, he said.

He pointed out that rehabilitation activities could also be hampered. Similarly, he noted that different projects could be compromised because of the stoppage of Rs 146 billion.

The CM stressed that the Punjab government was striving hard to provide free medicines and other facilities to the patients and hospitals’ completion work could also be affected due to non-release of dues from the centre as the federal government created hurdles by stopping the share of Punjab.

He pointed out that thousands of kilometres long dilapidated roads in Punjab need immediate repair and rehabilitation but the funds meant for Punjab have been intentionally stopped so that the province could be ruined because of the stoppage of development work. In fact, the stoppage of funds for an important federating unit like Punjab is a negation of the concept of national unity and cohesion, the CM said.

Moreover, the CM in his message on “World Tourism Day”, the CM said that tourist spots of Punjab are attractive to tourists and the tourism sector not only promotes local culture but also strengthens the national economy besides creating job opportunities.

He said that new tourist spots were being introduced along with the provision of facilities as the tourism sector is an important source to earn foreign exchange.

Meanwhile, talking to a delegation of Supreme Court lawyers led by Senator Barrister Ali Zafar, Abid Zubairi and Imtiaz Rashid Siddiqui, the CM announced that lawyers’ colonies would be established in every tehsil and district of the province, adding that lawyers and their families would also be provided free medical facilities equal to gazetted officers.

He also announced the restoration of the Public Defender Act without any delay and added that around 1500 lawyers would be accommodated through this Act.

The CM announced the construction of a parking plaza near the Shah Chirag building and a service structure for the public prosecution department.

He announced repairing of the Punjab Bar Council and hostel buildings and cited that the PBC building was completed in his last tenure.

I have always prioritized the welfare of the legal fraternity and issues of Supreme Court lawyers would be resolved on a priority basis, the CM said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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