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Govt to introduce bill for South Punjab province creation

March 11, 2020 06:47 PM


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In a significant development, the PTI government has decided to introduce a bill seeking to create South Punjab province.

Chairing a high-level meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday, Prime Minister Iman Khan said they will unveil the bill for the formation of South Punjab province.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Special Assistant to PM Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the senior leadership shared its ideas with the PM, who vowed to present the bill before the assembly for the formation of South Punjab province.

Firdous said that the meeting discussed the practical implementation on the promises made to the people of the region for the formation of the new province.

While congratulating the people of South Punjab, Qureshi said: “Today we’ve taken a practical step towards the realization of our promise to give you a province of your own.”

The minister said that the bill seeking the formation of a new province would be put before the assembly, adding “However, it will take time to give the bill a final shape and to form a consensus among the various political parties with which we’ll discuss the issue further.”

Qureshi said that Bahawalpur would be the capital of the new province, and an administrative secretariat would be established there. “There will be two counters for the officers in the new province, one in Bahawalpur and Multan each. We’ll also deploy additional secretary and additional inspector general south.”

However, the minister said that a two-third majority of Punjab Assembly members is required in order to create a new province. In addition, the proposed secretariat in Bahawalpur would require 1,350 new posts and the financial resources worth Rs3.5 billion.

Qureshi further said that the complete establishment of the new secretariat would take time to complete, adding that 35 percent of Punjab’s budget would go to the new province.

PML-Q expresses reservations

About the federal government’s decision of introducing a bill for the formation of South Punjab province, its allied party PML-Q has expressed reservations.

The high-level meeting, which took up the issue,  was conspicuous by the absence of PML-Q’s Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema, who said “I don’t know where the proposed secretariat for South Punjab will be established. How will the two parallel secretariats, one in Multan and Bahawalpur, will work out?.”

However he said that any formal reaction would be taken after discussions with the party leadership.



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