LAHORE    -   Punjab Chief Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar on Sunday visited central control rooms established in the provincial Civil Secretariat to monitor law and order situation during Muharram-ul-Haram.

Speaking on this occasion, the Chief Secretary said that protection of life and property of people is the prime responsibility of the government, adding that all possible steps would be taken for maintaining atmosphere of national solidarity, religious harmony, and brotherhood during the holy month.

He said that law-enforcement agencies should work in tandem with each other and stay alert to deal with any emergent situation. He ordered that implementation of code of conduct for Muharram be ensured at all cost and action be taken against violators without any discrimination.  The Chief Secretary was briefed that Majalis and processions are regularly being monitored at central control room in Civil Secretariat while similar control rooms are also working in other districts for monitoring of law and order. He mentioned that as many as 33,356 Majalis would be held and 8,674 processions would be taken out in the province during the holy month.

According to officials, at least 32 violations of code of conduct have been reported from different cities and nine cases have so far been registered. At least 6,560 Army and 3,120 Rangers personnel whereas 232,328 police officials and 138,335 volunteers are performing duties for security during Muharram. Additional Chief Secretary Home, Lahore Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, and DIG Operations were also present on this occasion besides others.

Punjab decides to revisit laws for investors

The Punjab government has decided to revisit existing laws to reduce red tape, cost of regulations and entry barriers for new businesses in the province and directions have been issued to planning and development department to collect data on all licences, NOCs, and permits, registrations, taxes and fees for starting and running a business.

The decision was taken at a meeting jointly chaired by Chief Secretary Punjab Yousaf Naseem Khokhar and Chairman Board of Investment Zubair Gilani. Speaking on this occasion, the Chief Secretary said that the government is providing favourable environment to investors by taking measures for ease of doing business and concrete steps are being taken to simplify and automate the cumbersome procedures of registering and running a business.  He said that there is a need to remove duplication of taxes unnecessarily imposed by different departments at provincial as well as district level. He also highlighted the Punjab’s initiative to move towards inspection free regime. He directed the planning and development department to carry out a complete stock take of all licences, NOCs and permits and prepare a report so that number of required documents could be reduced/rationalised through clubbing or elimination.

Chairman Board of Investment Zubair Gilani lauded the steps of the Punjab government and said that owing to positive measures by the government, the ranking of Pakistan would improve in the ease of doing business report to be launched by World Bank by the end of October this year.  The meeting was also attended by Federal Secretary Board of Investment Omar Rasool, Secretary Industries Punjab Tahir Khursheed, Secretary Planning and Development Imran Sikandar Baloch, Chairman PITB Azfar Manzoor, and World Bank Representative Amjad Bashir besides others.