In a provisional cabinet meeting in Lahore, chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, the decision was made to import 300,000 tonnes of sugar through the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP). The cabinet informed the food department to enter into an agreement with the TCP to purchase the imported sugar. 

Additionally, the meeting decided to amend the Sugar Factories Contract Act (1950) to authorise the government to determine zone-wise dates to initiate the sugarcane crushing season. The meeting also appointed a ministerial committee for the submission of recommendations within three days for regulation of the sugarcane price in Punjab. 

The CM also directed a crackdown upon hoarders and profiteers,  and ordered the provisional price control committee and administrative officers to take immediate action against the violators of law while ensuring provision of items at notified rates. 

During the meeting, the cabinet abolished local governments’ licencing fee for professionals. It also approved amendments to the Local Government Act 2019 to allow alterations in the licensing regime, to increase ease of doing business. 

The cabinet also decided to remove Section 4 of the Punjab Privatization Board Act (2010), to ensure that divisional commissioners can supervise the auction process of state lands. 

The meeting further approved amendment to the policy for granting proprietary rights in lease schemes for temporary farming. In this regard, farmers can submit their applications until 31st December 2020. 

About the allotment of land to the South Punjab Forest Company, the meeting decided to denotify the gazette notification dated 16th March 2016. The cabinet approved the transfer of the company’s assets.  

With the approval of Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency Affordable Housing Schemes Rules 2020, it granted the in-principle approval to the ease the policies for provision of state lands for the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme. 

The cabinet meeting also decided to declare smog as a calamity, and approved its inclusion in the Punjab Calamities Act 1958. 

The cabinet meeting finalised the appointment of managing director (MD) and chief operating officer (COO) of the Punjab Safe City Authority Lahore. It also approved the posting of Member Punjab Environmental Tribunal Lahore. 

Approval was also granted for proposed amendment to the Punjab Board of Technical Education Ordinance 1962, to promote students without exams, and for amendments to the Act of Department of Tourist Services Punjab, to transfer six government guest and rest houses in Murree. Kotli Sattian and Chakwal.  

Furthermore, financial aid was approved for the affectees of a suicide attack at Dhol Ghumman Basal Road, Attock. 

The cabinet approved a six-monthly monitoring report on implementation of the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, for the periods January to June 2018, July to December 2018, and January to June 2019.  

It also approved the Auditor General of Pakistan’s audit reports about Punjab government accounts for 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20. 

The annual performance reports of the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Lahore for the financial year 2018-19, and Punjab Daanish Schools and Centres of Excellence Authority 2019-20, were also granted approval. 

 The cabinet meeting introduced the role of Infrastructure Development Authority Punjab as an executive agency. It also decided on the extension of the lease of state land to the Sultan Foundation on Toba Tek Singh. It also extended the employment of Punjab Mineral Development Corporation MD Shahzad Rafi, while approving of terms and conditions for the appointment of Rashid Aziz as Chairman Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Authority. 

The writer is a member of staff
The reporting desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk

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