LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet has decided to hold local bodies elections within six months while allocating funds for it in the provincial budget 2013-14.
This was the first meeting of the newly announced 21-member cabinet that was held here at Civil Secretariat on Wednesday. Punjab Chief Secretary and other secretaries along with senior officials from different provincial departments also attended the meeting. Shahbaz Sharif and some of the cabinet members reached the Civil Secretariat from his residence in Model Town using the Metro Bus Service with other citizens. Throughout the journey, police had set-up tight cordons all along the way.
During the meeting, the cabinet members discussed several key issues including upcoming budget and its proposals, local bodies elections, energy crisis and public reaction over to load shedding, education and health policies and strategies.Sources told Daily Times that the issue of Punjab budget for fiscal 2013-14 was the main focus in the meeting and members of the cabinet and secretaries of different departments presented their proposals.
The issue of heavy electricity load shedding was also highlighted in the meeting and Shahbaz Sharif advised the ministers that they should reduce consumption of electricity in their concerned ministries.Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that they had been given a mandate to resolve the problems faced by the citizens in Punjab and he was ensured that all out efforts would be made to solve these issues. He also said that his government would adopt a zero-tolerance policy against corruption in the province and would also take stern action against anyone involved in corrupt practices.
Chief Minister further said that his government would give priority to education and health sectors, financial management and power sector. He also said that all ministers should work freely in their ministries and make policies for the welfare of people. On the issue of local government, the cabinet confirmed that local bodies elections would be held within six months in Punjab and funds for this purpose would also be allocated in upcoming provincial budget for fiscal 2013-14. – DailyTimes