LAHORE   -    The Punjab Cabinet, which met on Friday with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in the chair, approved the release of Rs5 billion to the Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency for Prime Minister’s Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.

The meeting deferred the proposal of reviewing fare of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Service while it decided to abolish the Punjab Irrigation and Drainage Authority (PIDA) Act 1997.

The cabinet okayed setup of Khal Panchayat Authority and approved the Khal Panchayat Act 2019. This Khal Panchayat will consist of farmers.

The meeting decided to open the wheat procurement campaign and Punjab government would purchase wheat from every farmer who would bring wheat to the procurement centre while the previous procedure was also revised to facilitate farmers. It decided to extend help to farmers whose crops were affected by recent rains and hailstorms.

The CM said every grain of wheat will be purchased during the wheat procurement campaign and farmers will be given every facility at the procurement centre. “The farmers’ rights will be fully protected and the complete reward of their hard work will be given,” he said and directed the SMDR to finalise the assistance package at the earliest.

The cabinet expressed concern over surfacing of a polio case in Lahore and decided to take steps on war-footing for the eradication of polio.

CM Usman Buzdar directed authorities concerned to devise comprehensive strategy to fight polio.

He said that the Health Department should take necessary steps on an emergency basis for the eradication of polio and emergent steps should be taken during this period of emergency. He also sought a comprehensive plan within two days.

The cabinet also approved amendments to police compensation rules so that the families of martyred policemen could be supported.

It gave approval to the demands of Food Department for supplementary budget grants and set up a waste management company in DG Khan while approved amendment to Waqf properties administration rules, 2002 and the draft of guidelines for the development of hydrocarbon seepages and the draft of sentencing law.

The meeting endorsed the minutes of the 8th and 9th meeting of Punjab Cabinet along with the endorsement of decisions made in 7th and 8th meetings of cabinet’s standing committee on finance and development. Provincial ministers, advisers, special assistants, chief secretary, and others attended the meeting.

CM MESSAGE ON FIREFIGHTERS’ DAY

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that firefighters perform the duty of saving the people from fire-related incidents by putting their lives in danger and added that their role in decreasing damages to life and property is important.

In his message, the Chief Minister said that modern training is important so that the firefighters could better manage the incidents and their professional skills will play an important role in this regard. Punjab government is providing the best possible resources and steps have been taken to give the latest training to Rescue-1122 staff. He said that the scope of this service is being devolved to the grassroots. The Chief Minister said that Punjab government pays tributes to the firefighters who have rendered invaluable services for overcoming the incidents of fire.