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PESHAWAR: The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa formally decided on Friday to fully restore Sehat Card Plus scheme from the first day of Ramadan this year.

The decision was taken in maiden meeting of the newly elected provincial government held here at Civil Secretariat with KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur in the chair.

Besides the cabinet members, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretaries and Administrative Secretaries of the provincial departments attended the meeting.

The chief minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur formally welcomed the cabinet members and said that an excellent cabinet team consisting of both experienced and fresh members has been formed. “In the prevailing tough situation, we have got a huge responsibility; that's why we have to work as a team to discharge it effectively,” he remarked and made it clear that henceforth, all decisions will be made purely on merit and no one will be allowed to go against merit in the new system. Sustainable development of the province and wellbeing of the people will be our top priority, and for this purpose, everyone has to perform and deliver according to public expectations.

He maintained that as another important relief step, the cabinet has approved relief package for needy people during the holy month of Ramadan, under which 8,50000 households already listed in Ehsas and BISP, would be provided with Rs. 10,000 per household with a cost of Rs 8.5 billion.

Beside 1,15000 additional households who were not listed in aforementioned programs for any reason, would also be provided with Rs. 10,000 per household. Similarly, he said that directives have already been issued to reactivate all ‘Langar Khanas’ established by the previous PTI provincial government, adding that a number of Langar Khanas have been made functional so far, and all others would also be made functional by the 1st of Ramadan.

Apart from this, Dastarkhawans would be arranged in the District and Tehsil Headquarter Hospitals across the province so that people can have the facility of Sehri and Iftar during the holy month.

The first meeting of the newly formed provincial cabinet was held here at Civil Secretariat Peshawar on Friday with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ali Amin Khan Gandapur in the

Addressing a press conference after cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister highlighted the priorities of his government and said that maintaining law and order and providing immediate relief to people would be the top most priority of incumbent provincial government.

He made it clear that since the PTI elected government at centre was overthrown through conspiracy, the economic conditions of the country began to deteriorate with each passing day resulting in severe financial crunches, today we are faced with.

Keeping in view the prevailing economic situation and its adverse impacts on the life of general public, providing relief to the people alongside improving law and order situation in the province will be the first priority of provincial government, he said and added that as a first relief step in this regard,

Ali Amin further said that promoting employment opportunities would also be an integral part of government's priorities; special attention would be given to skill- development of youth for this purpose in addition to providing them interest free loans, thereby enabling them to initiate their own business as per their skills and capabilities.

He went on saying that his government will go all out to ensure that available resources are being utilized for wellbeing of the people. Ali Amin Khan further said that matter of provincial rights would be taken up with the centre and hoped that media would also play its role in this regard.

He made it clear that Rs. 1510 billion in head of net hydel profit (NHP) (as per AGN Qazi Formula) are due against the federal government, which is undoubtedly a huge amount and can help us a lot to steer the province out of financial problems.

“We are not asking for charity, but we are demanding our legitimate and constitutional rights” he remarked and said that we are also well aware of the current economic situation of the country, and that's why we do not insist for lump sum payment of the arrears; any viable mechanism to this effect can be devised with mutual understanding. However, it should be clear to everyone that the province cannot afford to give up this right at any cost.

He on this occasion, also expressed his heartfelt sympathy with the families who have lost their loved ones in the incidents due to recent torrential rains and snowfall, adding that victims had already been provided with financial assistance.

He said it was good to see that the prime minister has also announced relief package for them, but it would have been much better if the federation continued to pay the dues of the province well in time, because we need to have pragmatic and sustainable steps in order to save the precious human lives in case of floods and other disasters. “Giving some kind of relief every time is no solution to the problem, because nothing can replace the human life,” he remarked and added that if the province is provided with aforementioned arrears, then this money can be spent on the protection and welfare of the needy people.

He urged the general public to raise their voice against corruption and bribery adding that the incumbent government would stand by the public because with the support of public that curse could be eradicated once for all.

Ali Amin Gandapur, also stressed the citizens to keep eye on the quality of development works and incase of any irregularity, matter may be reported to concerned authorities timely, strict action would be taken against concerned contractor and government officials.

He said that Pakistan particularly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cannot afford lavish life style at public expense that’s why the provincial cabinet in its very first meeting decided to withdraw the perks and privileges of ex-chief ministers adding that the public mandated the government for its welfare and development only not anything else.

To a question, he replied that he will definitely attend the meetings of all forums including council of common interest and plead the case of the province in a befitting manner despite the political and ideological differences with central government. Ali Amin also made it clear that there will be no load shedding for three hours during Aftaar and Sehri even in rural areas.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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