LAHORE: At the behest of Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar, the provincial government has imposed a ban on unnecessary expenditures of the departments along with placing a ban on new recruitments, the release of supplementary grants, purchase of new vehicles and other luxurious items.
The recruitment of doctors and other staff in the health department has been excluded from the ban, according to official sources.
Provincial Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht directed the departments during a meeting to strictly follow the financial discipline and ensure austerity measures as an unusual situation is being faced by the government owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Tax relief of Rs18 billion has been given to the industries along with the provision of more than Rs15 billion to the health department and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA),” he asserted.
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“This is in addition to the provision of Rs10 billion for financial aid to the deserving people and the people will be given relief in the month of Ramadanul Mubarak too.”
The minister stated that the government is fully focused to control novel coronavirus as well as to provide best treatment facilities to the citizens.
Similarly, the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other necessary material to doctors and paramedics is one of the government’s priorities, he added.
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Punjab has to deal with the challenge of coronavirus while living within its financial resources and this is the reason that the government is reviewing the Annual Development Programme (ADP) and other expenditures, he continued.
Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht chaired a meeting at CM's Office on Monday to review the financial situation and future roadmap of the province. The meeting reviewed the proposal of administering development work in cities through the resources of the development authorities.
The chief secretary, chairman Planning and Development (P&D), secretaries of finance and P&D departments and others attended the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2020.
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