Zero tolerance for hoarders, profiteers: CM

CHIEF Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed that indiscriminate action should be taken against the profiteers and hoarders. He warned that increase of even a single penny would not be tolerated in the prices of fruits, vegetables and other essential items and their prices should be brought at the level of two months earlier.

He was presiding over a high-level meeting to review the prices of essential items before Ramazan, here Friday.

Addressing the meeting, Shahbaz Sharif said the provision of quality daily use items to the people at fixed prices was the responsibility of the departments concerned and no negligence would be tolerated in this regard.

He directed that Food Authority should daily conduct tests of samples for ensuring quality of flour and other items; special attention should be paid to the quality of vegetables, fruits and daily use items. He said the interest of the people was dearer to him and no one would be allowed to exploit them. He said a comprehensive mechanism should be evolved for stabilising the prices of edibles during Ramazan; Commissioners, RPOs, DCOs and DPOs would personally monitor the quality and prices of the edibles in Ramazan Bazaars and submit report daily. He said vegetables and fruits would be available at wholesale rates at agriculture fair price shops, beef and meat would be provided at cheaper rates whereas sugar would be available at Rs45 per kg in Ramazan Bazaars. He warned that strict legal action would be taken against those selling daily use commodities at higher rates. He said district price control committees would monitor the arrangements of Ramazan Bazaars in their respective districts and keep a vigilant eye on the prices and quality of essential items and the arrangements made in the province would be monitored through latest technology.

garments: Shahbaz Sharif has said that government has formed six working groups for the development of garments and textile sectors and increasing exports. He said a project has been evolved to set up Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park near Motorway.

Addressing a meeting held to review the steps taken for development of garments and textile sectors after awarding of GSP Plus status to Pakistan, here Friday, the chief minister said the Punjab government was taking solid steps for the uplift of garments and textile sectors in the wake of awarding of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by the European Union. He said work was in progress on Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park near Motorway where special incentives would be offered to investors for setting up industries. The Punjab government is taking comprehensive measures for development of garments and textile sectors and increase in exports and Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park project is a revolutionary step in this regard. He issued instructions for setting up a business council for the solution of problems of garments and textile sectors. The CM expressed indignation over the delay in the setting up of Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park Company and directed that the company should immediately be got registered and work on the project be started at the earliest. He said delay in the Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park project would not be tolerated and the departments concerned should play an active role for the speedy implementation of the project. (Courtesy: APP)

Ishaq Dar meets with Saudi Finance Minister at Jeddah

ISLAMABAD, Jun 27 (APP): Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar held a meeting with Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Assaf at Jeddah on Friday and discussed with him matters pertaining to provision of Saudi funding for new viable development projects in Pakistan. (Courtesy: APP)

New houses to be built on IDPs return: PM

BANNU: Pledging full support to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan on Friday, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that new houses would be constructed on the return of the IDPs.

Addressing the IDPs in the Bakkakhel area in Frontier Region, he said, if required, billions would be spent for the rehabilitation of the NWA’s displaced persons. He said the entire nation stood by them. “The whole nation appreciates your leave one’s abode in this scorching heat. The government is striving hard to provide you basic facilities,” Nawaz Sharif said.

The camp is sparsely populated as the displaced people have avoided staying there due to its unsuitable location and inadequate facilities.The prime minister said the government would reconstruct the houses of the IDPs after the completion of the military operation.

He said that the government had decided to increase the monthly cash compensation of the IDPs from Rs12 000 to Rs20 000 a month including Rs3 000 for the monthly house rent and Rs5,000 for the non-food items. Therefore, the IDPs would be given Rs40,000 as cash compensation for the month of Ramazan which included Rs20 000 Ramazan package.

“We will utilise all available resources to facilitate you,” he said.The prime minister told the IDPs that he was aware of their difficulties and sentiments because leaving native homes was not an easy task. He said that he was confident that this problem would be resolved soon and the IDPs would return to their homes with honour and dignity.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that his government was well aware of the problems of dislocated people of NWA and reaffirmed the government commitment to utilise all the available resources for provision of speedy assistance and rehabilitation and ensure their early resettlement in their houses.

The prime minister said that there was no dearth of resources and the government would ensure provision of assistance, rehabilitation and relief and early settlement process. The prime minister said the IDPs were passing through difficult time and their sacrifices would not go waste. He hoped that their hard period in this harsh weather would come to an end soon.

The prime minister said that the government was working day and night to provide all the basic amenities of life to dislocated people to lessen their difficulties. The government and Army, he said, were working together day and night with the prime objective to provide comforts and relief to their tribal brethren. “This is not a kindness to them but we are fulfilling our duties,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif said the IDPs would be helped in reconstruction phase once the situation had improved in NWA. He said that the government would repair and improve the basic infrastructure including roads, health, clean drinking water facilities, schools and hospitals etc once law and order situation improved in the area. Nawaz Sharif said rebuilding and reconstruction phase in North Waziristan would not only generate employment opportunities for tribal people but would open up areas for trade and investment. It would alleviate poverty and bring progress and prosperity. He said the entire nation was united against the menace of terrorism and militancy and time was not far when complete peace would return to the agency.

Nawaz Sharif said that the government was left with no option but to launch massive military operation after failure of peace talks to establish its writ and protect the lives and properties of the people.The prime minister said that he held a detailed meeting with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) governor and chief minister besides Army officials to review arrangements for the IDPs. He prayed to Allah Almighty to help the government in its efforts to eradicate terrorism and extremism to bring peace to North Waziristan.

He said peace was vital for progress and development of Pakistan. With prayers of IDPs, he said, peace would soon prevail in North Waziristan Agency. He said effective arrangements had been made for the provision of fodder and shelter to livestock brought by the IDPs. He lauded Pakistan Army and other departments for extending full support to IDPs. In addition to medicines, he said, doctors and paramedics had arrived in sufficient number to treat and vaccinate their brethrens. Later, the prime minister distributed relief goods and food packages among the IDPs and assured full support in future. He also shook hand with the IDPs on the occasion and inquired about their well being.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly praised Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif and highlighted the role of his troops in offering sacrifices in the North Waziristan operation. Lauding the efforts of the Pakistan Army, Nawaz Sharif said the soldiers were playing a crucial role in facilitating the displaced people.

Earlier, General Raheel Sharif, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt Gen Khalid Rabbani and other senior military and civil officers received the prime minister. He was given a briefing by the military officials about the services being offered to the IDPs.

Local journalists in Bannu weren’t allowed to cover the visit of the prime minister.The prime minister was accompanied by Minister for Safron Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rasheed.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nasir Khan Durrani and Bannu Commissioner Syed Mohsin Shah, who is the focal person for the IDPs, were also present on the occasion. (Courtesy: The News)

Imran playing politics of disruption, instability: Pervaiz Rashid

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Pervaiz Rashid has said that Imran Khan was doing the politics of disruption and instability and that he did not accept supremacy of judiciary and parliament.

The minister said the allegations of Imran Khan carried no weight. He asked if rigging was carried out then who formed the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said although it was not mandatory but PTI chief Imran Khan was consulted on the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner. The minister said on May 11, Imran Khan was satisfied with judiciary, caretaker governments and returning officers.

He said the demands of Khan had nothing to do with the government and his demands were with the Election Commission and Chief Election Commissioner.

Imran Khan had threatened the Election Commission and judiciary of long march, he added.

The minister said constant disregard for parliamentary norms and reliance on mass mobilization through public gatherings was not conducive for the future of democracy. It was time to mobilise the masses to rescue internally displaced persons (IDPs) and stand by the soldiers rather than doing politics, he added.

Rashid said Imran Khan had lost his case within the Constitution, independent judiciary, parliament and law. He said Pakistan was passing through a critical phase and fighting war of its survival. But on this occasion when the government and army are busy in helping the IDPs, Imran Khan is trying to worsen the situation. (APP)

Shahbaz asks politicians to review instigating conduct

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the leadership instigating its political workers should review its conduct. He was talking to media after inquiring about the health of injured police officials who were subjected to violence by workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek at District Headquarters Hospital Rawalpindi on Wednesday.
Shahbaz said he saluted police officials who displayed patience and restraint in the face of torture and violence. He said administration was paying maximum attention to the treatment of the injured police officials.
Earlier, the chief minister visited different wards of Rawalpindi District Headquarters Hospital to inquire after the health of injured police personnel. He went to each injured and personally gave away cheques of three lakh rupees.
Expressing sympathies with the injured police officials, Shahbaz appreciated their discipline and restraint in the face of violence and cruelty.–Staff Reporter
He said the police officials faced brutality but foiled the conspiracy to create lawlessness in the country. An injured constable informed the chief minister that six participants of the procession bet him mercilessly with sticks for about 15 minutes as a result of which he faced head injury while his leg was also fractured. A bearded police official who broke in tears told the chief minister that he was beaten up with sticks by the protesters and was also dragged on the ground. Some officials informed that some demonstrators were carrying sticks with pointed nails. The chief minister was told that 90 percent injured officials had received head injuries or the bones of their hands, arms and legs had been fractured.
Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Saaf Pani Project is of vital importance as it is directly linked with the health of the masses.
Presiding over a meeting to review the pace of Saaf Pani Project here on Wednesday, he said people could be saved from diseases through supply of potable water. The chief minister said that provision of safe drinking water was responsibility of the state and government would discharge its obligation at any cost. He said the target to provide potable water to every citizen of the province till 2018 had been set and no effort would be spared for its achievement. He said Saaf Pani Project, costing billions of rupees, would be implemented speedily and water filtration plants would be installed throughout the province under this project.
Shahbaz said implementation of Saaf Pani Project would also remove disparity between the rich and the poor as currently the elite class was drinking mineral water while the common man was deprived of even potable water. Therefore, he said, this important project would be executed as a national responsibility. He directed that best professional consultants be selected for implementation of Saaf Pani Project and a comprehensive planning be made for implementation of water supply schemes in a coordinated manner. He also directed that speedy implementation of the project be ensured while due attention should also be paid to maintaining transparency and a high standard. He further said that the project should be operated on the pattern of corporate for its implementation on permanent basis. (Courtesy: Nation)

Nisar, Shahbaz visit injured policemen

RAWALPINDI – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Minister for Interior Affairs Chaudhry Nisar Ali on Wednesday visited the District Headquarters Hospital and inquired after the health of police personnel injured by stone pelting and physical brawl by unruly activists of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) on June 23.

They took round of various wards of the allied hospital, presented bouquets to the injured and interacted with them. Nisar handed over the cheques to the victims on behalf of the chief minister. Narrating the ordeal to the CM, an injured said he was ruthlessly beaten up by the activists with nailed-batons but he avoided retaliation.

Shahbaz appreciated the professionalism of the police force especially its policy of maximum restraint to use force against political workers, which caused injuries to the cops. He directed the hospital administration to ensure provision of best possible medical care to the injured and prayed for their early recovery.

At least 86 policemen were injured after the law enforcement agencies showed maximum restraint to use force against PAT workers who breached security cover and reached Islamabad airport despite imposition of section-144 in the city. (Courtesy: Daily Times)

We’ll change country’s fate if allowed to complete term: PM

MANSEHRA: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said his government would change the fate of the country if allowed to complete its five-year term. He said this while inaugurating the 4,320 megawatt Dasu Hydropower Project in Kohistan.

Speaking at a gathering after inaugurating the project, the prime minister said the project would help overcome loadshedding and put the country on the road to prosperity and development. “Our government is not just making tall claims of starting mega development projects; we have started this mega project which will meet the energy needs of our country,” he said amid cheers by the locals.

Nawaz said that the project would be completed in record time with an estimated cost of Rs500 billion. “I am confident the people will reject the elements who are out to block the development process,” he maintained. He added that work on the Diamer-Bhasha Dam would also start soon.

The premier advised his detractors to wait for five years as his government had the mandate of the people. “Our government is taking steps in the larger national interest and we are proud of it,” he said, adding he would honour all the pledges made during electioneering.

A group of people who were protesting on the occasion, were asked by the prime minister to meet him. He assured them the government would meet their demands. “Kohistan is rich in natural resources and the time is not far when this area would be a model city like Islamabad and people would come to invest here,” he added.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Secretary for Water and Power Nargis Sethi among others were also present on the occasion.

Nawaz Sharif also visited Naran in the Kaghan valley and stayed there for some time. He also met a delegation of hoteliers. They apprised the prime minister of the electricity problems in the area.

Nawaz Sharif asked Khwaja Asif to build a 2MW small hydropower project on the Kunhar River to solve the issue. Security was put on high alert in Dasu, the headquarters of Kohistan, and Naran. (Courtesy: The News)

Nawaz launches interest-free loan scheme today

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Scheme under the umbrella of Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP) will be officially launched today (Thursday) across the country. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will launch the maiden interest-free loan scheme in Islamabad.

This was stated in a meeting presided over by PMYP Chairperson Maryam Nawaz Sharif at the PM House. The chairperson further said that out of the total budgeted allocation of Rs3.5 billion for the fiscal year 2013-14, the first ever interest-free loans amounting to Rs3.9 million would be distributed among 175 deserving beneficiaries of Haripur, KP. She maintained that under the scheme, 200,000 loans up to Rs50,000 would be provided to sponsor productive micro-enterprise activities by the poor in rural and urban areas of Pakistan.

She added that the households with a score of up to 40 on the Poverty Score Card having a viable business idea or opportunity but little or no access to banks and micro-credit institutions were the target beneficiaries of the scheme.

The chairperson said that 50 percent of the loans would be disbursed to women. The scheme will cover 200,000 people in the first year. Subsequently 1,000,000 people in four years in all districts across the federation with low socio-economic indicators, high food insecurity, limited or non-existence of micro-finance institutions and concurrent investment or activities in livelihoods, employment or enterprise development.

Briefing the chairperson, officials of the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund informed that initially 63 districts had been given priority as per criteria and the loans would be disbursed according to NFC formula.

Two hundred and fifty loan centres and Karobar Rehnumai Markaz or Business Advisory Centres to provide enterprise and technical support have been established all over the country for effective execution of the scheme, it was stated.

“The launch of interest free loans scheme would usher in a new era of socio-economic development in the country, which is top priority of the PML-N-government”, remarked Maryam Nawaz adding, “Prime minister accords top priority to the underprivileged segments of the society as his government is making strenuous efforts for their uplift”.

She said that the PM’s Interest-free Loan Scheme was a unique opportunity for the poor especially women to improve their socio-economic condition and play their role in the overall development of the country. (Courtesy: The News)