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September 24, 2018

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Imran wants new LG system within 48 hours

 Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing cabinet members of Punjab. -APP

LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday directed finalisation of an effective local government (LG) system within the next 48 hours for transfer of power to the grassroots.

Addressing a meeting of the Punjab cabinet here, Imran directed constitution of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe into the burning of important official record in different fire incidents at the Punjab government buildings in the past years.

He also directed the audit of all mega projects initiated in the last 10 years, and called for complete details of loans acquired by the past governments as well as the volume of interest paid on them.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Punjab ministers, advisers and political assistants attended the meeting.

Imran urged the Punjab cabinet to come up to the expectations of people expecting a change in governance. He asked all ministers to work seven days a week and cancel their weekly holidays.

For three months, he said no cabinet member would avail themselves of a holiday and after that they could take only one leave on Sunday. He also appreciated the hard work and day and night efforts being made by the chief minister. He said Sardar Usman was a team leader and the whole team had to work for a change under his supervision.

He directed the chief minister to keep check on government departments and give suggestions for improvement by analysing their performance. Imran said the team leader's vision ensured victory. “The match is not won with big players, but it is the spirit of victory which brings success. Likewise, the leader in Punjab is Sardar Usman Buzdar and the match against status quo is to be won under his leadership,” the prime minister said.

He said for the first time a chief minister had been elected in the Punjab who was not only honest and belonged to a backward area, but also gave respect to everyone. “Working from morning to evening and dedicated to the public service, he is available to the public seven days a week. It is fortunate for the Punjab to have a leader like Usman and his respect is actually respect of the public,” Imran said.

He said the PTI government would expose all the corrupt deeds done in the past adding that nothing should be kept hidden from people on whose money the past rulers thrived. Imran said the PTI government was paying proper attention to public welfare in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and that’s why it was elected to power again.

He said it was the PTI that discouraged the trend of political interference in institutions, which yielded positive results in health, education and police sectors.

Now in Punjab, he said the real change could only be ensured if powers were transferred to the grassroots. “For this purpose, a local government system, aimed at empowering people should come into existence,” he added.

He said a complaint cell should be set up at the Chief Minister’s office to address complaints of people. He also emphasised the need for making the district Zakat committees more effective. The PM was also given a detailed briefing on the first 100-day plan of the Punjab government and progress made in different sectors so far.

He was apprised of provision of Insaf Health Cards to people, which could cover around Rs0.3 million medical expenditures of a family and six million families of the province would benefit from the programme. The meeting was also told that the process of recruiting 7,000 doctors and 2,500 nursesfor 40 hospitals of the province had been completed.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also chaired a meeting on the local government issues. Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman and others attended the meeting.

Imran Khan said devolution of power at the grassroot level would pave way for a new leadership. He said with the transfer of power, the accountability process of elected representatives should also be ensured.

He said in the past, a major issue concerning the democratic system was a lack of interest shown by the parliamentarians in legislation, as their focus was on development funds and seeking more powers.

“The prime purpose behind the LG system is to break the status quo,” said Imran. Meanwhile, chairing a meeting of anti-corruption directors, Imran directed officials to improve the working of the body.

He promised all-out assistance to them in launching a crackdown on corruption. He urged them to stand by the weak and take indiscriminate action against corruption. Imran said the motive behind launching mega projects in the past was to earn kickbacks rather than serving the masses.

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