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January 19, 2020

CM Usman Buzdar gives away cheques to artistes


January 19, 2020

LAHORE : Chief Minister Usman Buzdar distributed cheques of financial assistant among the deserving artistes under Artists Supports Fund at 90-Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam here on Saturday.

The chief Minister gave away cheques of financial assistant to artist Huma Dar, singer Zahoor Ahmed Ilyas aka Sain Zahoor, artist Muhammad Javed Kodu and Nasir Sherazi. The chief minister while announcing increase in Artists Supports Fund said the fund would further be increase from the next fiscal year.

He said, “We have fulfilled one of our promises made with the artiste community and funds of crores of rupees have been released under the Artist Supports

Fund.” He said helping the deserving artistes was government duty and responsibility. He said, “The services of artistes for the promotion of culture and art have great respect in our eyes.” Usman Buzdar said that artistes played an important role in highlighting the soft image of any country. He said that monthly financial assistant would also be given to the deserving artistes and a list of deserving artists had been prepared by the Information and Culture Department.

He said “We will not leave alone the deserving artistes facing financial crisis.” The process of supporting the artists will continue, he added. The artistes thanked the chief minister for helping them in their difficult time.

MPAs Sadia Sohail Rana and Musarat Jamshaid Cheema, besides information secretary, PILAC DG, Punjab Arts Council executive director, Lahore Art Council executive director and DGPR were also present.

‘Present govt spent far less funds on 7-Club Road building renovation than previous govts spent’

The spokesman of Chief Minister’s Office has released the details of expenditures spent during the current and previous governments for the renovation and maintenance of the chief minister’s residence at 7-Club Road and his office at 8-Club Road.

According to the spokesman, not that much amount was spent on renovation of the aging 7-Club Road building as compared to the amount used by the previous government in the name of the abandoned CM’s Office.

The building of 7-Club Road is decades-old and after former chief ministers Manzoor Wattoo and Sardar Asif Nakai, this building was not been used as CM’s residence. It was declared as an office in the first tenure of Shahbaz Sharif. This building remained neglected with very few staff in the tenure of Pervez Musharaf as Governor’s House was the centre point of all activities in his tenure.

Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, during his period as chief minister, used this building as his office for some time whereas Shahbaz Sharif during his two tenures spanning 10 years visited there perhaps 15 to 20 times.

Former CM Shahbaz Sharif merely used 7- Club Road as his office. The offices at 96-H and 180-H Model Town were the pivot of his political and government activities. According to the spokesman, Usman Buzdar after holding the portfolio of Punjab Chief Minister started using 7-Club Road as his residence.

The 7- Club Road building was in a dilapidated condition due to the negligence of many decades, therefore, renovation and maintenance of this building was utmost necessary to make it suitable for residence. During the last fiscal year 2018-19, Communication and Works Department spent Rs 2.30 crore on the repair and maintenance of 7- Club Road whereas only Rs.5.4 million were spent in the first six months of the current fiscal year in this regard. The C&W department spent Rs.2.36 crore in the fiscal year 2016-17 and Rs.2.85 crore in the fiscal year 2017-18 in the same head when the CM was not residing here. The spokesman said that it was worth mentioning that 7- Club Road was the only residence of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar which had office and meeting rooms. After Usman Buzdar stared living at 7-Club Road, the expenditures made on this building are much less than the amount spent in the previous governments which reflected the austerity policy of Buzdar’s government. He said the Buzdar government was utilising the public money with honesty. The government resources were utilised for personal interest during the previous tenures. Under the austerity policy, the furniture has been upholstered instead of purchasing new furniture. Drain pipes of toilets and worn-out curtain have been replaced. The new curtains have been purchased at the rate of Rs.180 per sq feet. The spokesman also negated impression of purchase of luxurious furniture for the building. According to the rules, the CM can give high tea or dinner in meetings and the expenditures are met under the entertainment and gifts heads. He maintained that Rs.5.38 crore were spent in the year 2018-19 and Rs.2.04 crore in the first six months of the current fiscal year in the heads of entertainment or gifts heads, whereas, Rs8.61 crore were spent from the national exchequer in 2016-17 and Rs.8.99 crores in 2017-18 in the heads of entertainment and gift. During the tenure of the previous government, 2-College Road GOR-I and 22/B GOR-III were used as guesthouses. But Chief Minister Usman Buzdar used his only office for meetings with guests coming from Taunsa and DG Khan. The spokesman said that purchase of gold and silver plated crockery had never been made for CM’s office and added that the news given in this regard was baseless and contradicted the facts.

It is worth mentioning that the only Rs 0.9million were spent in last fiscal year in the head of crockery and in the first six months of current year Rs.100,000 only has been spent under the head, whereas, Rs0.9 million were spent in the year 2016-17 and Rs.1.1 million were spent for purchasing crockery in the year 2017-18. The funds utilised for all necessary expenditures are much lesser than the funds utilised during the previous tenure.

condolences: Usman Buzdar has expressed sorrow over the sad demise of mother of Haider Ali, personal staff officer of CM.

Funeral prayers for the deceased will be held at Chak No.16/69 near Syedwala Interchange M-3, Jaranwala, at 2pm today.

In a condolence the message, he prayed may Allah Almighty rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage and strength to the bereaved family to bear this loss with fortitude.