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October 30, 2020

CM Usman Buzdar announces Rs5b for Hafeez Centre fire affectees


October 30, 2020

LAHORE:Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Thursday announced Rs5 billion special relief package for the affectees of the Hafeez Centre inferno.

The chief minister announced this while talking to the inferno affectees at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). Punjab Information Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan and Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht accompanied the chief minister.

Usman Buzdar said that the Bank of Punjab (BOP) would provide soft loans to the affectees and for that purpose a special desk of BOP had been set up near Hafeez Centre. The BOP will finance them at affordable prices under Kamyab Jawan and Punjab Rozgar Scheme and BOP Apni Dokan, adding that it would also provide flexible financial solutions to cater renovation of existing shop/office premises, purchase of new shop/office premises, purchase of inventory/stocks to restart the business. The chief minister said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had announced the refund of Hafeez Centre fire victims on priority basis. He said the BOP had also offered 135 shops (owned by bank) available at IT Tower Lahore at affordable terms.

The chief minister said to further the business activity in Punjab, the government had planned to establish 13 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Punjab. The work has started on SEZs in Faisalabad and Lahore, adding the SEZs in Bahawalpur and Muzaffargarh would be announced soon. He said the PTI government had always supported the business community. The government has given Rs57 billion tax relief to them due to COVID-19, adding that the government had reduced the rate of provincial sales tax on 13 sectors mostly affected by the COVID-19.

Earlier, the LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah thanked the chief minister for accepting LCCI’s demands for a relief package for fire affectees.

Accord: Additional DG Excise & Taxation Department Rao Shakeel-ur-Rehman and GM (Marketing) National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) Syed Amir signed an agreement at CM Office on Thursday to provide standardised vehicular number plates to the customers at their doorsteps.

Provincial Ministers Hafiz Mumtaz Ahmed, Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan, Chief Secretary, NRTC MD Brig Toufeeq Ahmed, secretary excise and others attended the ceremony.

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, who was the chief guest of this ceremony, expressed the satisfaction that the issue of provision of standardised number plates had been settled amicably. This would be a long-term solution to the provision of number plates along with helping in their identification by security cameras, he added.

Universal registration series has been started in the whole of the province and the online auction of attractive numbers has been started as well along with the start of e-payment of all the basic taxes of excise department, he added. It is satisfying that more than Rs5 billion had been earned through e-payment system in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the CM stated.

Meanwhile, online appointment management system has been introduced to facilitate the applicants and biometric verification will also be started for vehicles’ registration. The chief minister asserted that the provision of better services to the citizens was the government’s priority, adding that issuance of standardised number plates, having security features, was important for maintaining law and order. The PTI government inherited the issue of number plates and it decided to solve it on G2G basis while fulfilling all the legal requirements, added Usman Buzdar.

This agreement will improve the organisational capacity of the public sector while saving revenue and the government would also achieve export capability in this sector, concluded the CM.

Sahulat bazaars: On the direction of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, 350 subsidised Sahulat bazaars have been established in the province to provide essential items at subsidised rates, including the provision of 20kg flour bag at Rs840 and Rs420 for 10kg bag.

Similarly, sugar is available at Rs85 per kg. The 20kg flour bag is available in the open market at Rs860.

The chief minister maintained that Sahulat bazaar was an initiative to provide relief to the masses adding that all such bazaars were being monitored. The government will go to every extent to provide relief to the citizens and no one would be allowed to exploit the general public, concluded the CM.

Eid Milad: Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has congratulated the Muslim world on the most auspicious occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH). In his message issued here Thursday, the chief minister said the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the most propitious happening in the entire human history. The Holy Prophet (PBUH), who is the benefactor of the whole humanity, emerged as an example for the whole world through His immaculate character and introduced an exemplary socio-economic order, taught the human beings about golden principles of love, peace, affection, equality, justice and respect of humanity. The menace of injustice, cruelty and lawlessness can be eradicated by following the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Pakistan can be made a citadel of peace and harmony by following the Uswa-e-Husna of Holy Prophet (PBUH), he added.

The Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) teaches about solving problems through understanding and dialogue. It is the requirement of love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that we should shed our differences in the light of His reconciliatory strategy. This day provides an opportunity to the Muslim world to follow the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah in the real sense and pray for the betterment, prosperity and national development, he said.

May Almighty Allah forgive all our transgressions and we may be blessed with the kindness of Holy Prophet (PBUH), the chief minister concluded.