LAHORE: The provincial cabinet, which met with the caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi in the chair, turned down the proposal to impose agricultural income tax on owners of 5-acre lands.
Additionally, the cabinet decided to maintain the stamp duty rate at one percent and approved amendments to the First Schedule of the Stamp Act 1899. Amendments to the Sales Tax on Services Act, 2012 were also approved, abolishing all taxes and duties on IT business, education, and training in Punjab.
The cabinet approved the extension of contracts for employees of the hepatitis and infection control programme, as well as the provincial TB control programme. A significant decision was made to restore historical buildings and ancient gates across Punjab, including Lahore.
The restoration of the 12 ancient gates of Lahore to their original grandeur was entrusted to the director general of the Walled City of Lahore Authority, by the CM.
DG WCLA provided a briefing on the restoration of historical buildings and expressed gratitude to the chief minister and the cabinet for their support, which was appreciated by the cabinet.
The cabinet also approved the renewal of the agreement regarding new issues and the scope of the Punjab Health Facilities Management Company. Various matters related to the Universal Health Insurance Program in Punjab were also approved. Additionally, the extension of contracts for 605 employees of the Directorate General of Literacy & Non-Formal Basic Education was approved. In terms of vehicle registration fees, a one percent reduction was approved for vehicles ranging from 1500cc to 2000cc in Punjab, aligning them with the fees in Islamabad.
Regarding mining, the cabinet approved the revision of royalty rates for limestone and argillaceous clay in large-scale mining operations.
To reduce subsidies in the transport department, a non-fare revenue generation model was approved, facilitating commercial activities at metro bus and orange line train stations. Permission was granted to operationalize the Maj Gen Sheikh Al Mur bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum Gynae Hospital in the Gulab Wala area of 18 Hazari tehsil of Jhang. The cabinet approved the grant implementation for the hospital and included the scheme in the annual development program. Additionally, the establishment of a council for the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs) was approved.
During the meeting, it was reported that the Mines & Minerals Department had collected approximately Rs 14 billion in taxes, surpassing the target of Rs 12 billion for the current fiscal year.
Moreover, the CM on Thursday paid a detailed visit to Mayo Hospital for about 3.5 hours in severe hot and humid weather.
He inspected emergency and other wards and reviewed the facilities being provided to the patients. Air conditioners of different wards were shut down, wash rooms were out of order and taps were missing. There were poor cleanliness arrangements in the wards.
Expressing his severe indignation over this maladministration, the CM reprimanded MS and the hospital administration over this mismanagement. The patients also complained over non-availability of medicines in the Mayo Hospital. A mother of a patient wept over not being properly attended in the hospital. The CM himself reached ICU with the distressed mother and inquired from the incharge doctor of the concerned ward.
He issued directions to the MS to provide best treatment facilities to Wahab Naeem. The patients and the attendants apprised the CM about their problems. He listened to their problems and issued on the spot directions for their resolution.
The CM also reviewed the whole process by taking token in the Children Emergency. He ordered to improve reading room and cafeteria immediately and also granted permission to female students to install air conditioners with payment in the hostel of King Edward Medical College. Mohsin Naqvi inspected Dialysis Unit, Emergency Ward, Medical Ward, OPD, Surgical Outdoor, East Medical Ward and Balqees Sarwar ICU. Mohsin Naqvi also visited ECG Room, Cardiology ICU, Pharmacy, Indoor Medical and other departments including sitting area.
The CM announced to build state-of-the-art Mayo Hospital in four months under two phases. Mohsin Naqvi has also sought improvement plan of Mayo Hospital within one week.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023