*LAHORE: **Punjab Cabinet meeting takes landmark decisions over tourism policy, Police and Civil Servants allowances.*
*The Punjab cabinet has approved its first tourism policy besides promising provision of special package for the promotion of the sector.*
A session of the provincial cabinet held under the chair of the Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar where various important decisions were taken. The session was attended by provincial ministers, advisers, special advisers, chief secretary and senior officials.
CM Buzdar approved Punjab’s first tourism policy, said that a special package will be finalised for the interest of tourists to promote tourism for enhancing the soft image of the country. He said special benefits will be given to private investors who show interests in investment.
The provincial cabinet, while taking another landmark decision, approved restoration of the fix daily allowance of the Punjab Police which had been frozen since 2005 with the average of 2013.
Under the restoration, the Punjab highway patrolling police and traffic wardens will also the allowance with same percentage. The approval was also given to the executive allowance for the civil officers appointed on the cadre post. The civil officers will get the executive allowance equal to 1.5 times of the basic salary. The special allowance equal to 1.5 times of the basic salary was also approved for the grade 1 to 16 employees of the Civil Secretariat on the instructions of the chief minister.
Moreover, the cabinet also gave approval to the allotment of the government land for landless farmers of Cholistan. a scrutiny committee has been formed to proceed with the allocation process of the land will be made in a transparent manner. The meeting also approved the land in the Cholistan area of Sadiqabad tehsil for Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) for oil exploration.
A financial aid package was also approved for the farmers whose crops have been damaged in rainstorms and hailstorms. Fifty-five villages of 27 districts have been declared calamity hit and they have been exempted from Malia and Aabiyana (water tax).
CM Buzdar directed concerned authorities to estimate the damage to crops caused by floods in some parts of Jhelum.
The meeting has also decided to introduce the grading system in the matriculation, intermediate and graduation exams in phases. The implementation of the first phase of the grading system has been approved.
While giving approval, CM Buzdar said, “The grading system is the vital measure towards the uniform education system which would also end cramming. We will introduce a system that will enable our students to compete at the international level. A committee has been constituted to review the implementation of the second and third phases of the grading system,” said the chief minister.
An amendment in the Government Land Disposal Policy was approved by the provincial government. The provincial cabinet has approved the leasing of government land on open auction. The decision has been taken to give ownership rights of the land leased to landless farmers and the sodbusters who will cultivate 80 per cent of the land.
The cabinet also approved the appointment of the members of the Board of Directors (BoD) of the Parks and Horticulture Authority, Sialkot.
The cabinet meeting also approved the audit report prepared by the Auditor General of Pakistan for the Punjab government accounts for the financial years of 2016-17 and 2018-19. The audit report will be presented in the Punjab Assembly after the approval of the cabinet. The decisions of the 10th and 11th meetings of the Cabinet Standing Committee for Finance and Development were also endorsed.
Moreover, the progress of implementation on previous decisions taken by the provincial cabinet was also reviewed.