LAHORE, Oct 07 (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif presided over a meeting of provincial cabinet here on Friday which gave approval to the unprecedented programme of provision of interest-free loans to small cultivators with the help of modern technology.
The meeting also gave approval to the agreements between the Punjab government and financial institutions for providing interest-free loans. Moreover, release of funds for several development projects, programmes and development schemes were also approved in the meeting. Provincial cabinet was also briefed on security arrangements for the protection of life and property of people during Muharram-ul-Haram, reforms in police system and the use of modern technology for improving law and order.
The Chief Minister said front desks had been set up in 202 police stations in Punjab while these would be established in all police stations of the province by December 31, 2016. He said geo-tagging of seminaries and mosques had been completed. He said Dolphin Force would be launched in all big cities of Punjab after Lahore and work had been started on the project.
He said after provincial metropolis Safe City project would be started in six other cities including Multan, Bahawalpur, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad.
The Chief Minister said the government had given unprecedented Kissan Package for the uplift of agriculture sector and increase in per acre yield and modern technology would be used for economic empowerment of small cultivators. He said a programme had been evolved first time in the history of the region for providing interest-free loans to small cultivators and 500,000 farmers would benefit from this programme.
He said interest-free loans of Rs 70 billion would be given to small cultivators this year and they would get this loan immediately through smart phones. He said agri pass book of farmers had also been digitalized.
The Chief Minister said it had also been decided to set up
Khadim-e-Punjab Agri Endowment Fund with a sum of two billion rupees.
The cabinet was also briefed on the pace of Sahiwal Coal Power Project, solar power project set up at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur and Bhikki Gas Power Plant, Sheikhupura.
The cabinet endorsed the decision to privatize solar projects of one hundred megawatts set up by the Punjab government with its own resources.
Shehbaz Sharif said 1320-megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Project would start production from June 2017 instead of December 2017. He said China had described the speed at which work was being carried out on the project as Punjab Speed, which was an honour for the whole country. He said destiny of the nation could be changed if all departments worked at this speed. He said 300-megawatt solar project at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur was adding electricity to the national grid.
He said the Punjab government had decided to privatize one hundred megawatt solar project set up by the provincial government with its own resources. He said work was in progress expeditiously on 1180-megawatt gas power project at Bhikki and electricity unit would be available to the people for 6.36. He said costly power project were set up in the past due to which the price of per unit increased whereas the completion of the projects set up by the present government would result in elimination of load-shedding and availability of low-cost power to the people.
The Punjab cabinet gave approval to setting up of Finance & Development and Legislative standing committees for dealing with Rules of Business. Supplementary grants issued from July 1, 2017 were also approved by the cabinet. Provincial cabinet also granted approval to release of development budget to administrative departments for the second time during financial year 2016-17 and the mechanism for identifying development schemes, their implementation and monitoring.
Furthermore, the cabinet granted approval to setting up of offices of District Population Welfare Officers in Nankana Sahib and Chiniot, reorganization of Regional Training Institutes of Multan and Lahore as well as 30 posts and 25 new vacancies for capacity-building of Population Welfare Training Institute Lahore.
Shehbaz Sharif said potable water programme had been started by the Punjab government costing Rs 300 billion and Rs 30 billion were being spent on this programme during current fiscal year.
The meeting also gave approval to release of funds for PHA Rawalpindi for security arrangements in public parks, supplementary grant for replacement of air-conditioners in Nishter Hospital Multan, vacancies of biomedical engineers in teaching and district headquarter hospitals, grant for Shalimar Hospital Lahore, release of funds for Gujranwala and Sialkot Waste Management Companies during current year, funds for construction of Pir Noor Badsha Bridge, agreement for the use of water for 720 megawatt Kerot hydro power project besides supplementary grants of 231.754 million rupees under different heads for Punjab Public Service Commission. Cabinet sub-committee will review amendments in Police Rules 1934 and Punjab Population Policy 2016.
Provincial Ministers, Special Assistants, Advisors, Chief Secretary and senior officials attended the meeting.