PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Wednesday allowed state-owned companies to conduct business under the Public-Private Partnership Act of 2014 for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
Briefing media persons about cabinet decisions, provincial Minister for Public Health Engineering Shah Farman said that cabinet approved an amendment in the act in this regard.
“The amendment is aimed at facilitating projects and investment under the CPEC,” Farman said, adding that the cabinet also approved amendments in the K-P Local Government Act, 2013, for legalising commercial activities in Peshawar’s posh localities such as the University Town.
Land in the University Town can now be used for commercial purposes for a five-year period, document distributed at the briefing showed.
To reduce workload on the Peshawar High Court, the cabinet also approved amendment in the Section 18 of the West Pakistan Civil Ordinance of 1962, under which the district courts would now be allowed to hear cases worth Rs10 million. Previously, these courts were not authorised to hear any case above Rs1 million. Now, civil suits exceeding Rs10 million can directly be taken up by the high court while trials in cases involving less than Rs10 million would be held at district level courts.
The cabinet endorsed the sale of K-P government’s land spread over an area of 25,773 kanals in Bhakkar district of Punjab, besides approving the draft of the K-P Mental Health Act.
Farman urged the Punjab government to release details regarding the extent of usage of the official helicopter and jet by the Punjab chief minister.
He was clarifying his party’s position on stories appearing in a section of the media on the use of K-P government’s helicopter by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Zar Gul in by-elections for PK-62, Kohistan.
Pictures showing Zar Gul disembarking the helicopter were appearing in the social media and Advisor to Prime Minister Amir Muqam held a press conference and accused the PTI of using the helicopter for running his political campaign.
According to him, helicopters had been used for 1,121 hours during the tenure of the Awami National Party (ANP) government.
During the tenure of the incumbent government, helicopters were used for 569 hours.
Farman said that during the previous government, the governor K-P used it for 257 hours while during the incumbent government’s tenure the governor used helicopters for 437 hours.
“Sardar Mehtab Sahib (the former governor K-P) used helicopter because of his ill health … he used to visit his residence in Abbottabad in helicopter,” he said, accusing Muqam of making it an issue to settle scores with the former governor. “Muqam wanted to force us to share these details with media to tarnish the former governor’s public image,” he said, adding that both the governors are nominees of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
“The governor alone used (helicopters for) 437 hours while the entire K-P government, including the chief minister, his cabinet members, the chief secretary and the IG … used it for 569 hours,” he said.
He asked the Punjab government to share similar details of their chief minister’s usage of helicopter and official jet.
“Why has Shahbaz Sharif purchased a jet? He and Pervez Khattak hold the same portfolio,” he said.
PMS Officer’s protest:
The chief minister expressed his displeasure over the slow progress in addressing issues faced by the officers of the Provincial Civil Services (PCS).
Insiders said that the chief minister had directed the establishment department to submit a written report in this regard.
The establishment department officials had reportedly told the chief minister that they had resolved 70 percent of the issues of the PCS officers as directed by the chief minister.
The chief minister called for full compliance.