ISLAMAABAD : Prime Minister Imran Khan says a separate annual development programme for South Punjab will usher in a new era of development in the region. Chairing a meeting about establishment of South Punjab Secretariat and its working in Islamabad today, he directed that devolution of powers should be gradually advanced so that administrative matters could be run in a better way. The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, Finance Minister Punjab Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, Chief Secretary Punjab, Additional Chief Secretary South Punjab and Additional Inspector General South Punjab joined through video-link.
The Prime Minister emphasized that the government’s main focus was to bring about improvement in the lives of common man and directed the administration of South Punjab to work in fulfilling the same vision. He lauded efforts of Chief Minister Buzdar and the Punjab government for establishment of South Punjab Secretariat, and said solid steps reflected PTI government’s will to implement its manifesto in letter and spirit. He regretted that governments in the past ignored the genuine issue of the people of South Punjab. Stressing on the need for Provincial Finance Commission Award, the prime minister said separate allocation for South Punjab would usher in a new era of progress and prosperity. Imran Khan directed to complete process of devolution of power phase-wise to ensure smooth running of administrative procedures. He asked to keep him regularly updated on the progress of the working of new Secretariat.Foreign Minister Qureshi highlighted the practical steps taken by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in accordance with the aspirations of people of southern Punjab, establishment of South Punjab Secretariat, devolution of administrative powers, ending sense of deprivation and resolving problems at their doorsteps. He said the PTI government had fulfilled its promise to establish South Punjab Secretariat, which had developed a new spirit among the people of the area about their identity. Qureshi presented a proposal for allocating budget for South Punjab in next year’s Public Sector Development Programme and reserving a quota for the locals in employment. The meeting informed the Prime Minister that rules of business of Punjab Government had been amended following the establishment of South Punjab Secretariat and 16 secretaries had been deputed in South Punjab. The prime minister was updated that health, education, police, planning and development, local government, finance and agriculture had been transferred to South Punjab. An effective structural organization has been put in place in the new Secretariat equipped with technology, e-governance and paperless culture to facilitate the people.