CM Mahmood Khan wants preparations finalised to open new economic zones

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10 site offices of illegal housing schemes sealed

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Monday directed the Industries Department to complete preparations for the inauguration of two to three new economic zones in January and expedite the work on providing electricity to the local industries at affordable rates.

An official handout said he was a chairing a meeting of provincial cabinet here on Monday. Members of the provincial cabinet, chief secretary, additional chief secretary and administrative secretaries attended the meeting.

Briefing reporters about the decisions of the cabinet meeting, Special Assistant to Chief Minister for Information and Higher Education, Kamran Bangash said the cabinet gave conditional approval to the revised Industrial Policy 2020 under which various measures have been proposed for industrial development in the province.

Prominent features of the policy included the provision of various incentives to investors for promotion of domestic and foreign investment, linkages with industries, provision of facilities to industrialists under the one-window operation, provision of soft loans for small and medium enterprises and rehabilitation of old and sick industries in the province.

The special assistant said the chief minister directed the Industries Department to work out a plan to relocate the marble factories established on Warsak Road in Peshawar to any other suitable place outside the city to resolve the issue of environmental pollution on permanent basis.

He directed the officials of the Revenue Department to ensure issuance of “fard” to the applicants within two days or else strict action would be taken against the patwaris concerned. Mahmood Khan directed the Revenue Department officials to bring necessary amendments to the rules for the transfer of patwaris at the divisional level so that inter-district transfers of patwaris could be made within a division.

The chief minister directed all the departments to ensure approval of the projects reflected in the Annual Development Programme up to December 31. He added that he would convene a review meeting in the first week of January and no leniency would be tolerated.

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The chief minister directed the senior officials concerned to construct sheds for labourers waiting on footpaths to earn a livelihood. Mahmood Khan termed the establishment of shelter homes (Panahgahs) as a pro-poor initiative of the government and directed the Social Welfare Department to make all the shelter homes in the province fully functional in view of the recent cold wave and to ensure the best possible arrangements and facilities in these shelter homes.

He directed the officials to provide free of charge meal to the vulnerable and deserving people in these shelter homes and to make sure that no one was forced to spend the night under the open sky in winter season.

The chief minister directed the Minerals Department to take stern action for curbing the illegal extraction of sand and gravel from riverbeds in Swat and submit a report within a week. He directed the Forest Department to take action against deforestation in the province.

The cabinet conditionally approved amendments to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Arms Rules 2014, aimed at ensuring implementation of SOPs for shooting/gun clubs. It Okayed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sentencing Bill 2020. The bill proposes the establishment of a sentencing council which will make recommendations for the overall improvement of the criminal justice system.

The meeting also approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Legal Aid Rules 2020, under which the government will provide legal aid to all those who cannot afford to engage lawyers to pursue their cases in the courts.

A simple procedure has been formulated in the policy for engaging lawyers and determination of fees for this purpose.Kamran Bangash said the cabinet also approved the provision of funds for purchasing vehicles for the newly appointed additional district and sessions judges.

The cabinet gave the go-ahead to the appointment of new members for the Board of Directors of Water and Sanitation Companies Mardan, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu and Abbottabad.

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