Govt implementing zero-tolerance against land grabbers: CM Buzdar

System being revamped to ensure better working

LAHORE, Mar 16 (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Tuesday said the government was implementing a zero-tolerance policy against qazba mafia (land grabbers) and encroachments as it got vacated state land including urban and rural worth billions of rupees from the illegal occupation of qabza mafia.

Addressing a press conference at CM office here, he said the PTI government soon after coming to power, initiated indiscriminate accountability process and on the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, launched a crackdown against qabza mafia (land grabbers).

All the state institutions exhibited bravery and courage against qabza mafia, he added.

The chief minister said the PTI soon after holding public office, freed the institutions of political interference and empowered them. So far 144,439 acre land worth Rs 425 billion got vacated from the qabza mafia, he added.

He said the previous government set up illegal housing societies, petrol pumps, cinema houses, commercial plazas, wagon stands by occupying the state land. They (previous governments) were involved in tax evasion, theft of conversion fee and other taxes as well.

They left no stone unturned to weaken the national institutions. The national exchequer suffered loss of billions of rupees during the previous governments as the politicians joined hands with the corrupt elements in the institutions, the CM added.

He said that operation against encroachments and qabza mafia was being conducted without any discrimination and would remain continued in future as well. Precious state land would be protected from the qabza mafia, he added.

He said that the same qabza mafia had grabbed the land of various government departments for many years including 90,516 kanal land of the Auqaf department and 5,997 acre land of Forests department.

Usman Buzdar said that he had issued instructions to the different law enforcement agencies and secretaries of the concerned departments to launch a crackdown against the qabza mafia to vacate the state lands from their possession. Strict legal action would be taken against the mafia, he added.

He maintained that operation against qabza mafia was among the most important objective of the PTI and its government.

He said that state land after getting vacated would be used for public welfare as a committee had been set up under the supervision of chief secretary Punjab for this purpose.

He said that third wave of corona had started and the number of corona affectees were increasing day by day and prevention was utmost necessary including wearing face mask.

Safeguarding the lives of the citizens was the top priority, he said, adding that 114 centres had been set up where corona vaccine was being administered to elderly citizens.

Usman Buzdar said that opponents started propaganda against him from the very first day and added that he did not care opponents’ criticism for the sake of criticism. “I am here to serve the people as it is my only mission,” he added.

He said the government was determined to provide relief to the people of the province. Like the raise in the salaries of federal employees, the salaries of provincial employees would also be raised, he added.

Chief Whip Punjab Assembly MPA Syed Abbas Ali Shah, Chief Secretary, Inspector General of Police, SMBR and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister were present on the occasion.

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