–Cabinet sets Nov 30 as deadline for 100-day reforms agenda in maiden meeting
–Decides to introduce KP-like local govt system; bans new recruitment below grade 17
LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Friday reiterated his commitment vow Prime Minister Imran Khan’s 100-day agenda, stating that the plan was a public compact with the people of the country.
“Every minister in my cabinet must be clear about what they should do,” he said while chairing the first meeting of the cabinet. The chief minister also said that he and his team would deliver on prime minister’s vision to transform Punjab.
CM Buzdar said that he would personally monitor progress on the prime minister’s agenda and cautioned his colleagues to shun old and regurgitated solutions that hadn’t worked in the past.
“I challenge you to deliver in ways that are both aspirational and implementable.”
He said that they had to work as a team, adding, “I am always at your disposal and am sure that you will act as my supporting arms. We have to work diligently to achieve targets and I will always be standing beside you,” he added.
Earlier at the maiden meeting of the cabinet, a deadline of November 30 was set to bring reforms in every department of the province.
The meeting was briefed about improving the law and order situation in Punjab and the working of P&D, finance, local government as well as community development departments. It was also briefed about specialised healthcare and medical education, primary and secondary healthcare and schools education departments.
Briefing media representatives after the meeting, Minister for Information and Culture Fayazul Hasan Chohan said several administrative secretaries and ministers, including Senior Minister Aleem Khan and Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, briefed the cabinet members regarding the roadmap of 100 days of the newly elected government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
“Minister for Local Government and Community Development Aleem Khan gave a detailed briefing regarding the proposed reforms in the local government system and it has been decided that the new system would be a mixture of local government systems of 2001, 2005 and the one being implemented in the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government,” said Chohan, adding that the new laws would be drafted to empower local governments before November 30.
He further said that a discussion regarding the formation of south Punjab province was also held in the cabinet meeting and it was decided that south Punjab province would be established in consultation with the federal government.
The minister said that austerity measures, reforms in the police department, provision of clean drinking water, law and order situation in connection with the month of Muharram and several other issues also came under discussion in the cabinet meeting.
Health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid also gave a briefing to the participants regarding her department and said that health cards would be given to the people as the PTI government had in the KP.
Speaking of the ongoing development projects in Lahore, the minister said that an administrative secretary concerned told the cabinet on Friday that several projects had become “white elephants” of the government in Punjab and therefore there was a need to reconsider them all.
“Our government will hold a transparent audit of Metro Bus projects of Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan, while the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) would also be audited soon,” he said.
According to Chohan, the Right to Information (RTI) commission did not have enough funds to run its affair and therefore it was decided in the meeting that a new RTI act would also be introduced in the province like KP, where an ordinary person can get any information by simply writing an application.
The minister further said that the Punjab government had also decided to ban the recruitments under grade 17 for the time being and the recruitments on grade 17 or above would be held through Punjab Public Service Commission.
“An art academy would be established for the first time ever in Punjab where professional training of art, music and ghazal would be imparted and we’ll introduce courses ranging from six months to 2 years for these fields,” he concluded.