PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cabinet in a meeting held here on Tuesday with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair approved a sum of Rs. 998.500 Million to be released by the Finance Department for the launching of Insaf Taleem Card in the province during the financial year 2022-23 to benefit the students who are enrolled in the government colleges and facing hardships in paying their annual/semester admission fee. Presently as many as 244858 students are enrolled in 274 colleges the province over.
The chief minister while addressing the meeting said that the launching of Insaf Taleem Card was a revolutionary step of the Provincial Government, which will ensure the provision of free education to the students enrolled in the public sector colleges. He expressed his dismay over the delay in recruiting the required staff for the completed schools, colleges, hospitals and other schemes, which are near completion, and directed the concerned authorities to prepare and submit SNEs within a week time in this regard so as to recruit the necessary staff at the earliest in the larger public interest.
The Chief Minister further directed for strict implementation of the E-tendering policy to bring transparency and fair play in the functions of the nation building departments. The meeting besides the cabinet members was also attended by the Provincial Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Senior Member Board of Revenue and Administrative Secretaries of various government departments.
Minister for Higher Education Kamran Bangash and Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Information & PRs Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif while briefing media persons about the decisions of the cabinet meeting at ITLA’A Cell informed that the launching of the Insaf Taleem Card was the second flagship project of the provincial government after the Insaf Sehat Sahulat Card, which will benefit millions of students in the province.
The cabinet, they said, approved the revision of forest duty on various forest produce to achieve the enhanced revenue targets as well as increase the rate of timber in the local market. The forest duty on Blue Pine has been enhanced from the existing Rs.40 per cft to Rs.50 per cft while that of the Chir, Fir/Spruce/Chilghoza/Quetta Pine and conifers increased from Rs.35 per cft to 40 per cft.
These rates, they said, were lastly revised/enhanced during the year 2015. Similarly, the cabinet approved inclusion/incorporation of “The Minamata Convention on Mercury” in the schedule of the Environmental Protection Act, 2014. The Minamata Convention on Mercury was signed on October 10, 2013 and ratified in December 2020 with the aim to protect Human Health and Environment from anthropogenic emission and releases of mercury and mercury compounds.
They said that eradication of environmental pollution is the vision of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and the provincial government as making all our efforts to achieve this end. The cabinet, they further informed, also approved the appointment of Dr. Syed Subhanullah Shah, a retired professor, as Member Technical (BS-21), Environmental Protection Tribunal Peshawar for a term of three years.
Kamran Bangash and Barrister Saif further informed that the cabinet also accorded approval to extend Health Professional Allowance (HPA) to the Assistant Director Homeo/Tibb (BS-17) and Homeopathic Doctors and Tabbibs (BS-16) serving in various Government-run Health facilities of the province. The Assistant Director Homeo/Tibb (BS-17) will draw HPA @ Rs. 56,000/- per month w.e.f 07-01-2016 and at the revised rate of Rs.61,000/-w.e.f 01-07-2021. While the Homeo Doctors and Tabbibs (BS-16) may be allowed HPA @ 10,000/- per month w.e.f 15-04-2016 and at the revised rate of Rs. 15,000/- w.e.f 01-07-2021. The total financial implications involved in extending HPA to Assistant Director Homeo/Tibb and Homeo Doctors & Tabbibs are Rs. 35. 487 Million.
They further said that the Provincial Cabinet approved renaming the Cat-D Hospital Maidan Dir Lower as “Shaheed Malik Jehan Alam Hospital Maidan Dir-Lower” as a token of recognition for the services rendered by Malik Liaqat Ali, MPA and his family for the area.
It merits a mention here that Malik Jehan Alam embrassed martyrdom on August 6, 2022 during an assassination attempt made on the life of his brother Malik Liaqat Ali, MPA. He further said that the cabinet also approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tuberculosis Notification Rules, 2022.
They further said that the cabinet agreed to support the World Bank’s National Health Support Project (NHSP) for strengthening Primary Health Care in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The allocation for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the NHSP is 72.7 Million USD which included 50.9 Million USD as loan component and 21.8 Million USD as grant component. The cabinet, they said, also approved the nomination of two persons as members for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Blood Transfusion Authority for a period of three years.
They further informed that the cabinet also approved the draft agreement between the Provincial Housing Authority, Govt. of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority for the construction of 1320 flats at Jalozai Housing Scheme, District Nowshera. Similarly, the cabinet also approved Budget and Revised Estimates for the financial year 2021-22 and Budget Estimates for the financial year 2022-23 in respect of the Provincial Housing Authority. He further informed that the cabinet also approved the proposal with regard to vacating the site/land measuring 06 Kanal 03 Marla at Warsak road Peshawar by the Irrigation Department and handing over its possession to the Housing Department for carrying out developmental work to establish a Multi-storey commercial and residential building. The Irrigation Department will shift its offices to the alternate proposed site and the Housing Department will ensure payment of Rs. 65.00 Million to Irrigation Department for the construction of their offices and shifting of machinery to the new site. The expenditure so incurred will be included in the project cost and recovered from the potential allottees.
They further informed that the cabinet approved the extension of Govt. of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Educational and Training Institution Ordinance 1971 to Cadet College Mamad Gat (Mohmand) to give legal cover to the college. They further said that the cabinet also approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Higher Education Research Endowment Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2022 with the purpose to include public sector colleges, reconstitute the Board of Directors, reshape powers and functions of the Board and other related provisions and audit of the fund by the AG Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The cabinet, they further said, also approved the mutation of 100 Canal state land in the name of Higher Education Department for permanent establishment of the Gomal University Tank campus. They said that the cabinet also approved the report/recommendations of the cabinet committee regarding the creation of a new zone i.e. Zone-VI, which will include the areas like Kohistan Upper, Kohistan Lower, Kolai Pallas Kohistan, Torghar, Battagram, Buner and Shangla, Tank and Backward areas of Swabi (Gadoon), Haripur and Mansehra.
They further said that the cabinet also approved revised/fresh revenue tariff of various categories of Water Supply, Conservancy / Solid Waste Management & Sewerage under the Waster and Sanitary Services, Peshawar (WSSP) as per Judgement of the Peshawar High Court, Peshawar. The cabinet, they said, also authorized/approved the expenditure of RS. 8.855 Million already incurred on account of relief assistance provided to the earthquake affectees in Paktika and Khost Provinces of Afghanistan. Similarly, the cabinet also approved the payment of special compensation package of RS. 1 Million each for the three children kidnapped and physically abused in Peshawar. They said a special compensation package for the Shuhada and persons injured during the firing incident on the vehicle of MPA Malik Liaqat was also approved by the cabinet.
Under the package, the heirs of the Shuhada will receive a compensation of Rs.3 million each while those with serious and minor injuries will receive Rs .0.5 million and Rs. 0.2 million respectively. They further informed that the cabinet approved enhancing the current support price of wheat from Rs. 2600 per 40 kg to Rs. 3000 per 40 kg to encourage the growers and achieve the goal of wheat self-sufficiency. They said the cabinet also approved the transfer of 09 canal and 11 marlas state land in the name of Food Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the construction of Food grain Godowns in the Merged District Kurram. The cabinet, they further said, also approved amendments in the Prisons (Amendment) Act, 2020 to facilitate and expedite the establishment of Prisons Staff Training Academy, framing of rules regarding staff and trainees in the academy.
The provincial cabinet, they said, also approved appointment of Muhammad Arshad, PCS (SG) BS-20 as Chief Executive Officer of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Charities Commission. The cabinet also approved the establishment of Juvenile Justice Committees in each sessions division of the Province under the Juvenile Justice System Act, 2018. The committee will be comprised of a serving Magistrate 1st class as its Chairman and a District Public Prosecutor, a member of the District Bar with 7 years of experience and a serving probation Officer or Social Welfare Officer not below the rank of an Officer in BS-17 as its members.