Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Friday visited Government Comprehensive Higher Secondary School Sheikhupura to inspect the financial aid distribution under the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme.
The chief minister distributed aid among the needy claiming that the amount is being disbursed in an extremely transparent manner.
Buzdar said Rs135 million core financial aid has been distributed in Sheikhupura and over 50,000 deserving families will be assisted through the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme.
The CM maintained that indigent strata were being given relief and the amount of Rs12,000 is no benefaction.
While chairing a meeting, he reviewed the arrangements to combat the pandemic, wheat procurement, cleanliness and law and order situation.
It was noted that most of the 33 coronavirus patients in Sheikhupura had travel history.
Arrangements have been made to keep 45 patients in isolation while a field hospital will also be established in the district, he was informed by the authorities.
The CM highlighted that 14 centres had been set up in Sheikhupura for wheat procurement which will begin from April 20.
“The restriction of 'gardawari' has been done away with and the wheat will be procured on a 'first come, first served' basis.”
Provincial Ministers Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, Mian Khalid Mahmood, parliamentarians, commissioner Lahore and others were also present on the occasion.
The chief minister then visited Narowal to inspect the distribution of aid under Ehsaas Kafalat Programme at a centre set up in Government Boys High School.
He said, the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme is being promoted as a movement and six aid distribution centres comprising of 25 counters have been set up in the district to help the destitute.
Later, the CM chaired a meeting at the deputy commissioner office. Addressing the gathering, he directed the line departments to remain fully vigilant to deal with any untoward situation.
Buzdar asked the administration to not establish ‘Ramazan Bazaars’ in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Instead, cash will be transferred to deserving families under the Chief Minister’s Ramadan Package.”
The authorities concerned were asked to devise a flood safety emergency plan and monitor the flow of water in rivers and nullahs round the clock.
It was decided in the meeting that shortage of police staff will be overcome through recruitment of 10,000 officials.
The chief minister said, wheat procurement campaign will begin from April 25 while the distribution of ‘ganni’ bags will commence from April 20 in Narowal.
“A target of 65,000 metric ton wheat has been fixed,” he told the meeting, adding, “Monitoring committees have been constituted and standard operating procedures have been issued for the procurement centres.”
With respect to the threat of the coronavirus he said, “Individual quarantine facility has been arranged for coronavirus patients in Narowal and personal protective equipment (PPE) are being provided on a priority basis to doctors and paramedics.”
He also gave in-principle approval of 40km long Narowal to Shakargarh road project during the visit.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2020.