CM spares his helicopter for relief operations; Rs 4 billion approved for repair of irrigation system.

Ministers donate one-month salary for flood affectees.

LAHORE   -   Expressing solidarity with the flood victims, the Punjab cabinet which met here on Monday with Punjab Chief Minister Ch Parvez Elahi in the chair approved several steps regarding the ongoing relief operation and rehabili­tation work in the affected areas.

While the chief minister announced to spare his helicopter for the res­cue operations, the cabinet ministers pledged to give one month’s salary to help the flood affectees in their diffi­cult time. Besides other measures, the cabinet also endorsed the decision to declare flood-affected areas of Rajan­pur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Mianwali as calamity-stricken. The farmers in these areas will no longer be required to pay water cess and other dues to the gov­ernment. It was also decided to meet the needs of other flood-affected prov­inces as the cabinet announced the dis­patch of medicines and medical staff to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balo­chistan for the affectees. “The Punjab government stands with the affectees of other provinces in the hour of need, ‘’ said the chief minister while address­ing the meeting which also offered prayers for the departed souls besides extending sympathies to the bereaved heirs. The CM directed to speed up the relief activities in a systematic man­ner and said that tents, food hampers and other equipment will be provided in the affected areas as needed. The government will also redress the dam­ages to houses, crops and livestock and every rightful person will be given his right; he said and directed that no one’s right should be usurped.

The cabinet approved the release of special funds amounting to Rs 4 billion for the rehabilitation of the damages to the irrigation infrastructure caused by rains and floods. It was decided to hand over the auction process of state lands in DG Khan district to the cabinet standing committee for privatisation that will give its final recommenda­tions after considering all the issues.

The cabinet approved naming Nich­olson Road Lahore after the late poli­tician Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan. Decision to this effect was made on the request of Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan’s son Nawabzada Mansoor Ali Khan who is one of the members of the provincial cabinet. Late Nasrullah Khan spent a major part of his life at his Nicholson Road residence which remained a center of political activi­ties for over two decades during the MRD and ARD movements launched against General Ziaul Haq and General Musharraf respectively. It was decided to entrust the matter of staff of phase two of the PSDP/ADP funded pro­gram for water courses to the commit­tee. Extension of the post of president LDA Tribunal Mansoor Ahmad Khan was also approved. The cabinet also gave its approval to the constitution of a new search committee for the ap­pointment of vice-chancellors of public universities with Shafqat Mahmood as its convener. It also granted approval to the appointment of the chairperson and judicial members of the Punjab Revenue Authority’s appellate tribunal and the annual calendar of the 5th par­liamentary year 2022-23 of the Pun­jab Assembly. The cabinet approved the annual report of the Punjab Public Service Commission for the year 2021 and the annual report of the Office of the Ombudsman Punjab for 2021. The reconstitution of the cabinet standing committees formed in the first meeting of the cabinet was approved as well. The decisions of the first meeting of the cabinet were confirmed. A briefing was given about the loss of life and property caused by the floods and relief activi­ties. The provincial ministers, advisers, special assistants, chief secretary and senior officials attended the meeting.