Punjab CM eyes village panchayat elections in March


Amraiz Khan

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that Village Panchayat elections are expected in the month of March next year and local bodies department is making necessary arrangements in this regard. The Village Panchayat elections will be held on a non-party basis while the local governments’ elections will be held on a party basis in the next phase.
He expressed these views while presiding over provincial parliamentary party meeting at 90-SQA here on Monday. Provincial ministers and MPAs of PTI and PML-Q were present attended the meeting. The meeting finalized its strategy with regard to ongoing Punjab assembly session. Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that public welfare has always been given preference by the incumbent government adding that all matters are being settled with mutual consultations in Punjab.
The chief minister announced that overhead bridges will be constructed at different places of the provincial metropolis to facilitate the pedestrians along with bringing improvements in the traffic system. Similarly, different roads will be repaired in Lahore with an amount of Rs.1 billion. Usman Buzdar added that comprehensive jail reforms have also been introduced by the PTI government and announced that parole rules are being changed to facilitate five thousand prisoners.
For the first time in the history of the province, I have used the authority of the chief minister to remit prisoners’ sentences and one thousand prisoners have also been got released by paying their fines, added Usman Buzdar. He said that motorbikes ambulance service is being extended to other districts of the province and employees’ allowance of Rescue-1122 has also been increased. Usman Buzdar reiterated that effective measures have been adopted to control price hike and announced that the scope of model bazaars will be extended to the level of tehsils. Farmers’ platform has been introduced in model bazaars to facilitate the growers to sell their produce directly, he said. Indiscriminate action will be continued against hoarders and profiteers and you have to play an active role to overcome the menace of the price hike.
The chief minister announced to start a new scheme of providing soft loans to the needy youth for skills development and added that Rs.9 billion will be distributed among the youth for starting their own businesses. The scope of Punjab Safe City project is being extended to other districts; he added and further said that safe city projects are being started in Rawalpindi and DG Khan. He said that line departments have been activated to overcome smog. Steel rolling industries and brick-kilns are being transferred to the latest technology and vehicles’ number plates’ issue will also be solved early as the excise department has been given fourteen days time for it.
The chief minister said that scope of the Walled City of Lahore Authority is being extended to the whole of the province. The operation against encroachments will be continued and assembly members should identify encroachments in their areas for immediate action, he added.

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