Punjab cabinet decides to import 0.3m tonnes of sugar

LAHORE: The provincial cabinet, which met here on Tuesday with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in the chair, decided to import 300,000 tonnes of sugar through the Trading Corporation of Pakistan and told the food department to enter into an agreement with the TCP for purchasing the imported sweetner.

The meeting also decided to amend the Sugar Factories Control Act (1950) for authorising the government to fix zone-wise dates for starting the sugarcane crushing season. It constituted a ministerial committee to submit recommendations within three days for fixing the sugarcane price in the province.

The meeting approved declaring smog as a calamity and decided to include it in the Punjab Calamities Act 1958.

The cabinet also abolished local governments’ licencing fee for professionals and approved amendments to the Local Government Act 2019 for bringing necessary changes in licencing regime to ensure ease of doing business.

It also decided to remove Section 4 of the Punjab Privatization Board Act (2010) so that divisional commissioners could supervise the auction process of state lands. Amendment to the policy for granting proprietary rights in lease schemes for temporary farming was approved and the farmers can submit their applications in this regard up to December 31, 2020.

The meeting approved to denotify the gazette notification dated March 16, 2016, about allotment of land to the South Punjab Forest Company and decided to transfer the company’s assets. The in-principle approval was granted to ease the policies for the provision of state lands for the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, along with the approval of Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency Affordable Housing Scheme Rules 2020.

Meanwhile, the appointment of managing director (MD) and chief operating officer (COO) of the Punjab Safe City Authority Lahore was approved along with the approval of the proposed amendment to the Punjab Board of Technical Education Ordinance 1962 for promotion of students without exams. The meeting approved posting of Member Punjab Environmental Tribunal Lahore and also gave approval to amendments to the Act of Department of Tourist Services Punjab for transfer of six government guest and rest houses in Murree, Kotli Sattian and Chakwal. Approval to the financial aid for the affectees of a suicide attack at Dhok Ghumman Basal Road, Attock, was granted as well.

The meeting approved a half-yearly monitoring report on implementation of the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award for the period from January to June 2018, July 2018 to December 2018 and January to June 2019. The Auditor General of Pakistan’s audit reports about Punjab government accounts for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 were approved along with the approval of annual performance reports of the Punjab Curriculum & Textbook Board Lahore for the financial year 2018-19 and Punjab Daanish Schools & Centres of Excellence Authority for 2019-20.

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

Decisions made in the 35th cabinet meeting as well as taken in the special cabinet meeting on the completion of two years of Punjab government were endorsed, along with the endorsement of the decisions made in the 30th, 31st and 32nd meetings of the standing committee for legislation and 40th meeting of the standing committee for finance and development.

The CM directed indiscriminate crackdown on hoarders and profiteers and ordered the provisional price control committee and administrative officers to take action against the violators of law and ensure provision of items at notified rates.

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