Punjab govt fixes sugarcane support price at Rs200 per 40kg

Provincial cabinet lifts ban on lease of coal mines; appoints Dr Arfa Iqbal as PBIT chief

LAHORE: Punjab cabinet on Tuesday gave ex-post facto approval to fix Rs200 per 40kg as minimum support price of sugarcane, besides approving transportation charges and sugarcane development cess.

As per details, the provincial cabinet, which met with Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in the chair, also decided to constitute a ministerial committee for the procurement of additional imported sugar. This committee will submit recommendations after a review of the sugar stock.

The cabinet members stressed that sugarcane growers will be given a full reward for their hard work during the crushing season, while legal action will be initiated against those failing in timely payments.

The cabinet also allowed the food department to enter into an agreement with PASSCO for the purchase of 63,000 metric tonnes of imported wheat. The participants expressed satisfaction over stability in prices of flour and sugar.

Meanwhile, the cabinet decided to secure 3pc job quota for the visually-impaired and approved a further five-year age relaxation for employment purposes. Now, the visually-impaired candidates will enjoy up to 15-year relaxation.

The meeting further approved the draft law of the 17-member Punjab Tourism, Culture and Heritage Authority, with the CM and tourism minister as its chairman and vice-chairman, respectively.

The cabinet decided in-principle to lift the ban on the lease of coal mines and also gave in-principle approval to lift the ban on renewal of the mines leases.

Moreover, the meeting decided to constitute a ministerial committee to dispose of the airplane (AP-BX/400-A, RK-80) grounded since 2004. This committee will submit its report after reviewing different options including auction.

The meeting also okayed setting up Rescue 1122 station in Khairpur Tamewali tehsil of Bahawalpur, besides approving the release of NOC for transfer of 6-Kanal land of Jhang to set up another Rescue 1122 station.

The appointment of the registrar for the University of Jhang was approved along with the decision to hand over assets of Inland Water Transport Company to the Tourism Department.

The meeting decided to resolve the matter of acquisition of land for Greater Thal Canal Project — Chaubara Branch phase-II, directing the officials concerned to process the case with Asian Development Bank. The 448-mile long Greater Thal Canal will irrigate 290,000 acres of land.

Furthermore, the cabinet approved the appointment of Dr Arfa Iqbal as CEO Punjab Board of Investment and Trade. The cabinet standing committee for legislation will submit its report to the cabinet regarding permanent appointments under Rule 17.

The meeting decided to relax rules for the appointment of senior registrars posted in hepatology, liver hepatology and medical ICU from 2019. An approval was also granted to issue notification of the medical teaching institute under Section 3(1) of the Medical Teaching Institute Act. It was decided to implement the MTI Act at Khawaja Safdar Medical College Sialkot. The participants approved to bring King Edward Medical College under King Edward Medical University.

The cabinet also approved a south Punjab re-allocation allowance for the officers posted in south Punjab secretariat. A total of 655 posts have been created for 17 departments in this paperless secretariat. Some 237 posts will be in grade-17 and above, while 154 IT officials will also be posted beside the miscellaneous staff of 264 officials.

The meeting approved further extension in the registration date of online registration with the charity commission.

The cabinet standing committee for finance and development will take stock of matters relating to the release of a letter of comfort or bridge financing for land requisition for Ravi Urban Development Authority. The cabinet approved to present annual reports of Punjab Information Commission to Punjab Assembly and appointment of regular president/CEO of Punjab Cooperative Bank Limited.

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