Punjab govt rejects proposal for metro bus fare hike

TO GO WITH Pakistan-unrest-vote-politics-development-education,FOCUS by Khurram Shahzad In this photograph taken on June 5, 2013, shows Pakistani employees walking beside metro buses parked at a terminal in the provincial capital Lahore. Pakistanis are hoping their new prime minister will roll out high-profile projects that became his party's trademark in its political heartland of Punjab, but the nation's dire finances threaten the optimism. The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) won huge popularity and a reputation for getting things done with a series of big-ticket schemes over the past five years in Punjab, the country's richest, most populous province. A metro bus system in the provincial capital Lahore -- the first such scheme in the country's 65-year history -- free laptops and solar energy panels for students and a network of high-quality schools in poor rural areas made Punjab the envy of Pakistan. AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI

LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet’s standing committee on finance on Thursday rejected a proposal to raise the fare of the city-wide Metro Bus Service.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, who presided over a meeting of the committee, said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government didn’t want to put a financial burden on the working class by fare hikes.

He directed the concerned authorities to work out other viable means to scale up the resources. “It is our responsibility to provide relief to common man,” he told the committee.

In the meeting, approval was given for the provision of financial assistance to families of contractual employees who die during the course of employment, completion of the required process for hiring a new managing director of the Mass Transit Authority, and new recruitment in the media wing of the Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR).

Besides, the committee also gave the go-ahead for appointments in the Special Monitoring Unit, and Dengue Prevention Program. It also decided to set up a separate health facility for neonatal care along with a nursing college.

The committee approved the release of funds for District Headquarters Hospital, Chakwal and setting up of a shelter home in Taunsa Sharif.