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May 11, 2017

Shahbaz approves implementation of safe city projects in six major cities


May 11, 2017

 Govt to establish Rs 2 bn revolving fund for
loans to small, landless farmers

LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has accorded approval to set up new 1200 megawatt gas-based power plant, and implementation of safe city projects in six major cities of the province.

These decisions were made in a meeting of the Provincial Cabinet chaired by the CM. The meeting also approved an agreement between Punjab Agriculture Department and Akhuwat for providing interest-free loans to small and landless farmers. The Punjab government would set up a revolving fund with an amount of Rs 2 billion for the purpose. The safe city projects would be started in Multan, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Sargodha. These projects would be implemented in phases; and later on, safe city project would also be initiated in Sahiwal.

The Provincial Cabinet approved amendments to different laws, including Punjab E-Stamp Rules 2016, Punjab Sales Tax on Services (Amended) Ordinance 2016, Fort Munro Development Act 2016 and PEEDA Act, 2016. The meeting approved the establishment of Punjab Mental Health Authority under the Punjab Mental Health Ordinance, 2001.

The meeting also approved the minutes of proceedings of 22 to 27 meetings of Standing Committee for Finance and Development of the Cabinet. The Provincial Cabinet commended the efforts of the chief minister for receiving arrears of net hydel profit from the Centre. The Cabinet paid rich tributes to the efforts of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for speedy completion of energy projects. After the approval of the amendments to PEEDA Act, 2006, inquiries would have to be finalised in 60 days, instead of 90 days. 

In his address to the Provincial Cabinet, the chief minister said that the Punjab government had decided to set up a new gas power plant of 1200 megawatt on its own. A piece of land would be identified near Rahimyar Khan or Muzaffargarh for the establishment of the plant. Like all other development projects, this energy project will also be completed speedily by working day and night on it. He said the electricity produced by the gas power project would be environment-friendly as well as cheap. 

He said that additional 5,500 megawatt electricity would be included in the system at the end of 2017. Similarly, as much as 9,000 megawatt electricity will be provided to the national grid by March 2018. 

The chief minister said work on the safe city projects would be started within a few months. These projects would be completed in 2018, he added. He said that the cities would become peaceful through the Punjab Safe City Projects. 

The CM constituted a cabinet committee for the selection of  members of Punjab Mental Health Authority. The experts from the private sector will also be included in the authority.

He congratulated the cabinet members on getting arrears of net hydel profit from the Centre, and said that Punjab government would get the arrears worth Rs 80 billion. In addition, the Punjab will also regularly get its share of Rs 9 billion every year under this head, he added. The P&D chairman briefed the cabinet members on the new 1200 megawatt gas power plant project.


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