Punjab cabinet meeting approves draft laws, projects


LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday presided over a provincial cabinet meeting in which a number of draft laws and projects were accorded approval.

The cabinet approved the launch of the safe city project for Kasur along with the Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib districts. In the first phase, the Kasur safe city project will be completed, while the safe city projects in Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib will be launched in the second phase.

The meeting also gave approval to the allotment of state-land to the landless people of Cholistan under the Chief Minister’s Cholistan Package and this allotment of the state-land will be extendable. The drafts of Punjab Women Development Policy, 2017 and the Punjab Animal Health Act, 2017 were approved along with the approval of the steps to declare negative and positive areas for the cement sector in the province. The meeting gave approval to the draft of the province’s first mineral policy and the cabinet also approved the charter for the establishment of a proposed University of Sialkot and University of Narowal. Similarly, amendments in the Punjab Drugs Rules, 2007 were approved as well.

During the meeting, the performance of Punjab Forensic Science Agency DG and his team was commended by the chief minister and the Punjab cabinet for their assistance to identify the offender involved in the rape case of Asma in Mardan. It also lauded the efforts of the cabinet committee on law and order for maintaining peace in the province.

Addressing the meeting, Shehbaz expressed satisfaction and said that the Punjab Forensic Science Agency has solved the murder cases of Zainab and Asma, who were daughters of the whole nation. He added that it has been made possible due to Allah’s blessings and the untiring efforts of the whole team. He also congratulated the Punjab Forensic Science Agency and the cabinet committee on law and order for making important headways in both the cases.

He said that whole nation was deeply saddened over the cruelty meted out with the innocent girls and the Punjab Forensic Science Agency has achieved great success by scientifically assisting the investigations. He said the Punjab government should immediately start the safe city project in Kasur and the scope of this project will be expanded to Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib. Time waits for none and therefore, we all will have to perform our duties amicably, he added.

The chief minister also said that the Punjab Women Development Policy, 2017 will be announced on the occasion of the International Women’s Day.

He said that Punjab is rich in mineral resources. During the tenures of previous governments, the mineral resources of Chiniot were tried to be stolen. Our government fought this case for many years and saved the resources from plunder. By the grace of Almighty Allah, the first phase with regard to mineral resources of Chiniot has been successfully completed and the work on the second phase has been started.

He said that the efforts of the provincial law minister, chief secretary, P&D chairman and Secretary Imdad Ullah Bosal are praiseworthy. The mines department has worked in a wonderful way and set a glorious example, he added. Such glorious examples encourage and strengthen the passions, he further said.

Shehbaz said that no industry, including the cement plants, could be set up in the negative areas. The area of the salt mines was devastated by permitting the establishment of cement plants there. In the future, no cement industry would be allowed to set up in the negative areas. While directing the constitution of a committee comprising experts and concerned departments for the setting up of industries in the positive area, the chief minister said that this committee should present its TORs within the next two weeks.

He directed that an action be initiated according to law against the unlawfully extended cement plants. The chief minister said that the cement plants not complying with the required standards will have to fulfil the criteria. The meeting also appreciated the performance of Livestock Secretary Naseem Sadiq with regard to the promotion of livestock.

Provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, the chief secretary and others also attended the meeting.