Provincial Minister for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha presided over a meeting Civil Secretariat today in which recoveries of non-tax revenue during March 2016 to March 2017 and the estimates of expected revenue during next quarter were reviewed before preparation of Budget 2017-18. Special Secretary Finance Saifullah Dogar, Deputy Secretary Finance Noorul Ain and concerned officers of Board of Revenue, Cooperatives, Education, Health, Agriculture, Forests & Wildlife, Communication & Works, Livestock, Industry, Irrigation, Mines & Minerals, Police, Law & Parliamentary Affairs and Home Departments attended the meeting.
Special Secretary Finance while giving briefing to the Provincial Finance Minister told that the non-tax recoveries of Communication & Works, Agriculture, Education, Health, Livestock and Home Department have improved as compared to last year. He informed that most of the departments are near to achieve the targets fixed in the budget and will achieve their fixed targets at the end of the current financial year. The meeting also identified the departments showing poor performance and got briefing from these departments. The Finance Minister while expressing satisfaction over the performance of Education, Health, Agriculture, Communication & Works, Mines & Minerals and Home Departments said that the provincial government is especially focusing to the Education, Health, Agriculture and infrastructure. She said it is essential that the concerned departments should also pay attention to enhance their capacity-building. She said that these departments should not only meet their own expenditures but also increase the resources of the province so that maximum facilities could be provided to the common man. Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha directed the departments not achieving the targets of non-tax revenue to improve their performance. She also assured assistance for resolving their problems. She said that all departments can improve their performance by minimizing the leakage chances through automation in the recovery system. The Provincial Minister said that the targets of non-tax revenue in the next budget will be fixed in consultation with the concerned departments.
Bhikki Power Plant was successfully operating on trial basis which was a technical requirement before power generation from a plant on commercial basis. Trial run is necessary for checking the reliable operation of a Gas turbine / power plant where tripping of gas turbine / power plant may happen during this process. Power plants have to be connected to national grid for export of power generated during testing / trial run. First gas turbine’s seven days trial run has been completed and second gas turbine’s seven days trail run is going on now. The Bhikki Power Plant is in the last stages of gas turbine simple cycle testing which is required before commercial operation.
Vice Chairperson Overseas Pakistanis Commission (OPC) Punjab Shaheen Khalid Butt and Commissioner Afzaal Bhatti has said that Punjab Province has plenty of potential, resources and opportunities for Overseas Pakistanis and they should invest in different sectors of interest. They were addressing the participants of a Road Show conducted by OPC in Oslo, Norway. Ambassador of Pakistan in Norway Ms Riffat Masud and hundreds of Overseas Pakistanis living in Oslo and other areas of Norway participated in the event.
Shaheen Khalid Butt and Afzaal Bhatti said that Punjab Government offers most lucrative opportunities to investors, especially in the field of Energy, Agriculture, Livestock & Dairy Development, Mines & Minerals, Tourism and Infrastructure. Punjab Government has introduced pro-business environment and friendly policies to generate foreign and domestic investment. VC and Commissioner OPC informed that on the instructions of Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Board of Investment and Trade is providing complete technical assistance to potential investors to set up new projects in the province, while OPC is an integral part of the efforts to generate foreign investment. On this occasion, Fateha for the departed soul of former Additional DG, OPC, DIG, Shaheed Ahmad Mubeen was also offered. Leaders of Pakistani Community of Norway Ch. Azhar and Adnan Afzal also addressed the participants of the road show.
Keeping in view the importance and role of expatriate Pakistanis in strengthening the national economy, the Punjab Government has always treated them as VIPs. They are real torch-bearers of Pakistani traditions abroad. These views were expressed by Vice Chairperson Overseas Pakistanis Commission (OPC) Punjab Shaheen Khalid Butt and Commissioner Afzaal Bhatti while addressing the participants of a Road Show, conducted by OPC, in Cordoba Hall, Barcelona, Spain. Hundreds of overseas Pakistanis settled in Barcelona and other cities of Spain attended the event while representatives of almost all political parties were also present.
Shaheen Khalid Butt and Afzaal Bhatti told that according to the vision of Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Shariff, the main purpose to establish OPC is to provide expatriate Pakistanis a coherent platform for resolving their problems at the earliest. OPC has so far settled thousands of complaints and effective steps have been taken to safeguard the rights of overseas Pakistanis in the province of Punjab.
On this occasion a special prayer was offered for the departed soul of Shaheed Captain (R) DIG Ahmad Mubeen, former Additional DG (Police Matters) OPC, who was martyred in a blast in Lahore. Representatives of Pakistani community in Spain Abdul Razzak, Mohsin Gul, Sajid Gondal, Raja Asad, Ayaz Abbasi, Shahzada Usman, Shahid Malik, Gul Faraz Khan, Ch Amanat and Javed Mughal lauded the CM Punjab’s initiative of establishing OPC and said that this institution is providing tremendous relief to Overseas Pakistanis by resolving their complaints.
The Director General, Punjab Emergency Services (Rescue 1122) Dr. Rizwan Naseer, S.I reviewed the performance of Rescue 1122 “Go Green Tree Plantation Campaign” through Rescue Mohafiz corps of volunteers to establish healthy and environmental friendly resilient communities in Punjab and contribute to the ‘Prime Minister’s Green Pakistan Program” which is aiming to plant 100 million tree across the country, including 14 million trees in the Punjab.
The Head of Community Safety and Information Ms Deeba Shahnaz briefed that Rescue 1122 has planted 70,000 trees in all districts of Punjab with active participation of District Emergency Officers in collaboration with Community Emergency Response Teams of their respective districts to make all areas in and around Rescue Stations clean and green by planting trees inside and outside their operational offices.
The data shows that out of 70,000 plants 3000 were planted in Attock, 120 plants in Bahawalnagar, 5000 in Chakwal, 600 in Chiniot, 8194 in Dera Ghazi Khan, 955 in Faisalabad, 350 in Gujranwala, 750 in Gujrat, 150 in Hafizabad, 350 in Sahiwal, 7939 in Sargodha, 700 in Sheikhupura, 800 in Sialkot, 1745 in Vehari, 2470 in Jhelum, 400 in Kasur, 4550 in Khanewal, 114 in Khushab, 911 in Lahore, 25 in Layyah, 400 in Lodhran, 350 in M.B Din, 1023 in Multan, 10,700 in Muzaffargarh, 155 in Nankana Sahib, 2000 in Okara, 10,500 in R.Y Khan, 390 in Rajanpur and 5110 in Rawalpindi. In Rawalpindi 5110 plants have been planted through Station Coordinators and Rescue Mohafiz (Volunteers) of District Rawalpindi at all Rescue Stations situated in Rawapindi, Texila, Kallar Syedan and Gujjjar Khan. Furthermore the public have been also awareness sessions arranged to sensitize public for Go Green Pakistan.
DG Rescue 1122 said that trees are essential and considered sign of life while rescuers are known as life saviors in Pakistan. He highlighted the importance of green vegetation as it always plays an important role in enabling human beings to live in a healthy life on earth. Therefore, tree plantation is need of the hour and the unprecedented contribution of trees in fighting detrimental impacts of climate change, such as floods, land erosion, land stabilization etc. can never be ignored.
The Director General also appreciated the officers, staff, cadets and Rescue Mohafiz (volunteers) on their valuable contribution in such healthy and environment friendly step. He also directed all District Emergency Officers and Rescue Mohafiz to continue this campaign till 22nd World Earth Day and celebrate it for awareness of masses.