Imran Khan wants reforms implemented in Punjab admin


Khan to chair meeting on police reforms today | Hints at forming judicial commission in Sahiwal case | Takes notice of inflated gas bills | Gives nod for launch of health insurance cards from today

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who spent a busy day in the provincial metropolis yesterday, ordered revamping of Punjab’s administrative structure, issuance of health cards for the poor and initiation of probe into inflated gas bills for the domestic consumers.

In a meeting held to review the progress in the matter of Sahiwal killings, the premier hinted at formation of a judicial commission to address the concerns of one of the victim families. He directed Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usmam Buzdar to meet the family and monitor police’s attitude towards them.

Taking notice of inflated gas bills issued to domestic consumers, the prime minister directed Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan to conduct an inquiry to ascertain the reasons behind the sudden surge in the prices of gas for the domestic consumers.

Briefing the media on decisions taken in meetings chaired by the PM, Federal Information Minister Fawad Ch said that Prime Minister Khan was of the view that putting extra burden on masses was unjustified and he therefore directed petroleum minister to conduct immediate inquiry into gas overbilling.

In a meeting attended by federal and provincial ministers, the prime minister approved the Punjab Spatial Strategy and assured the provincial government of all possible support by the federal government. The meeting decided to enhance the administrative and financial capability of Punjab government.

The prime minister observed that administrative structure should be revamped in Punjab to make it welfare oriented. Khan directed that provincial departments should maintain close coordination for effective delivery of services. In this context, the premier approved setting up of coordination network headed by a senior bureaucrat.

The meeting was attended by Punjab CM Usman Buzdar, Punjab Senior Minister Aleem Khan, federal ministers Fawad Ch (Information) and Dr Amir Kayani (Health), and PM’s special assistants Zulfiqar Bukhari and Naeemul Haq.

Provincial ministers Malik Noman Langrial (Agriculture), Makhdum Hashim Jawan Bakht (Finance), Mian Mahmoodur Rashid (Housing), Mohsin Leghari (Irrigation) and Malik Aslam Iqbal (Industries) and senior officers also attended the meeting.

Former Finance Minister Dr Salman Shah briefed the meeting on how to make progress in the fields of agriculture, industry, energy and infrastructure.

Former Punjab Chief Secretary Salman Siddique also gave his input during the meeting which also discussed proposals for effective utilisation of technology, human resource and investment for economic development.

The prime minister was also given a briefing on the development of 36 Punjab districts. The meeting was told that at least 15 cities should be declared as financial hub to promote business activity in the province.

Fawad Ch informed the media that first phase of the health cards scheme will be launched on Monday (today). Under this programme, he said, citizens would be provided health cover amounting to Rs 0.7 million to 0.9 million. The minister termed it a revolution in the health sector.

Asked what kind of administrative and police reforms were going to be introduced in Punjab province, he said that media would be informed about it in the near future. He however informed reporters that a meeting regarding police reforms would be held in Islamabad on Monday (today).

To a question the minister said that prime minister had directed that social media set up of the PTI should be revived on the modern lines. Answering a question about problems facing the media workers, Fawad said that the premier had directed him to contact the media owners to tackle the crisis.

Also, the prime minister chaired a meeting of party’s media strategy committee to maintain effective liaison with the media. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Spokesperson to CM Shahbaz Gill, provincial Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, PM’s special assistants, Iftikhar Durrani and Inamul Haq attended the meeting among others.

Chohan briefed the prime minister on the media strategy adopted by the Punjab government. Khan directed the media strategy committee to highlight development projects initiated by Punjab government.

Asked about the reservations expressed by the coalition partners in Punjab and the Centre, the information minister downplayed it saying they had no serious issues with the PTI.

“PML-Q, BNP and MQM are different political entities, but their differences with the PTI government are not of serious nature,” he maintained, adding that coalition government will remain intact.

To a question about reports that Nawaz Sharif may be allowed to proceed abroad for treatment, the minister said that talk of getting treatment abroad should be a matter for shame for those who had ruled the country for 30 years.

“They should be treated like ordinary prisoners,” he said, adding that NAB and other institutions should ensure that the rich and the poor get equal treatment while in prison.

He said that Nawaz Sharif’s health matters would be determined by independent doctors.

To a question about the future of Nawaz and Asif Ali Zardari, the minister said that they would be spending their last days either in jail or in London.

During a briefing on the task force for housing, the prime minister was informed on the progress in the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan held separate meetings with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Governor Chaudhry Sarwar to get first-hand knowledge on the working of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in respect of the Sahiwal tragedy. Khan said that a judicial commission may also be formed if the victim family so desired.

The Nation