PUNJAB Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has said the provincial government has set up the Lahore Transport Company (LTC) as provision of modern transport services to the masses is his top priority.
The CM was speaking at a meeting at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat to review transport services. Task Force on Transport Chairman Tasneem Noorani and the transport secretary were present in the meeting. The CM said an order for 365 new buses has been placed and the new transport system will soon be launched in the City.
He said the government was fully aware of the problems faced by the people due to the lack of transport services in the City and he focused on this issue immediately after he assumed the office of Khadim-e-Punajb. He said that a special task force was formed for the improvement of transport sector and the LTC was set up in the light of its recommendations. He said an order for 365 new buses had been placed in the first phase and that these buses will arrive within one to two months. He said that consultation with technical experts was of key importance for operating the transport system successfully and services of foreign experts could also be acquired. He said maximum number of experts from private sector should be inducted in the eleven-member Board of Governors of the LTC. He said that the project for provision of modern transport services to masses had already been delayed and efforts should be made on war-footing for early implementation on this project. He also approved the logo of LTC and issued instructions for the provision of funds on an immediate basis.
The CM praised the efforts of task force chairman and the transport secretary for the improvement of transport services. Earlier, the task force chairman and the transport secretary briefed the meeting that a site has been selected for the company and it will be registered within a day or two. They said that 365 buses were being purchased in the first phase and an order will be placed for the purchase of 300 more buses. They said that negotiations were being held with different operators for plying the buses. Other issues were discussed in detail in the meeting.
Meanwhile, the CM at a meeting of Punjab Cooperatives Liquidation Board ordered re-evaluation of all properties of the Punjab Cooperatives Board for Liquidation and directed that services of more than one prominent and well-reputed company be acquired for the purpose.
The meeting reviewed the affairs of the board of a period of last five years. MPA Pir Muhammad Ashraf Rasool, Tahir Sindhu, Task Force Chairman Haroon Khawaja, the chief secretary, Senior Member Board of Revenue, the finance and cooperatives secretary, the liquidation board chairman, the anti-corruption director general, the member legal Chief Minister inspection team and officials were present in the meeting.
He also issued instructions to ensure complete transparency in the affairs of the board and a thorough scrutiny of all properties of the board sold during the recent years. He said that serious irregularities were committed in the past in the sale of properties and other issues of the board and rules and regulations were totally ignored.
The CM said that he had issued instructions to probe into violation of rules and regulations and irregularities in the affairs of the board and to inquire into sale of 20 percent properties during last five years. He said that the committee has probed into the sale of 22 out of a total number of 82 properties and serious irregularities had been detected. He said that not only Board of Directors was kept in the dark but precious properties were sold at throwaway price without bidding. He expressed his surprise over such large scale irregularities, saying “why did Board of Directors and other authorities take notice of this matter”.
He said serious bungling was committed in the payment of claims. He said that contrary to the past, a comprehensive strategy be evolved to ensure transparency in the affairs of the board and instead of 20 percent properties, the sale of all properties of the board should be scrutinised.
He praised the performance of Member Legal CMIT Muhammad Yar Wallana, Punjab Cooperatives Liquidation Board Chairman Nazar Chohan and others who detected serious irregularities in the affairs of the board.
The Punjab Cooperatives Liquidation Board Chairman and Member Legal CMIT gave a detailed briefing on the board affairs. The meeting was informed that six references have been sent to Anti-Corruption Establishment for losses of billions of rupees. The meeting was informed that rules and regulations were violated and precious properties were sold at dirt cheap prices without bidding.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Labour Minister Mohammed Sarwar Musa Khel called on Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, here on Monday. Matters of mutual interest as well as development projects in Punjab were discussed in the meeting.
Talking to the guest, the CM said that Pakistan had four federating units and there was a need to promote unity and harmony among them for the development and prosperity of the country besides coping with challenges.
He said the Punjab government would construct a modern college for students of Balochistan and a fully equipped cardiology centre in Balochistan for heart patients which would be a gift for the Balochi brethren and would promote unity and harmony between the two provinces.
He said the Punjab government was taking revolutionary measures for the welfare of the people and raising their standard of living while health, education and other necessities are being made available to the masses at their doorstep. He said that economic and trade activities are being promoted in the province and infrastructure is being developed under a comprehensive strategy to eliminate poverty, backwardness and ignorance from the society.
He said that availability of doctors, paramedical staff and medicines and modern equipment is being ensured at health centres throughout the province so that treatment facilities could be delivered to the people. He said that free dialysis facility was being provided at all district headquarters and some tehsil hospitals while MRI machines were being installed at district headquarter hospitals.
He said that remuneration of young doctors has been increased and the service structure of doctors has been improved. He said the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund had been set up with a sum of Rs 2 billion to enable poor but talented students to continue their study. He said opportunities will also be provided to these students to study in prestigious local educational institutions and abroad from this fund.
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