Punjab cabinet panel approves move to curb speculative trading
Punjab Cabinet’s Standing Committee on Legislative Affairs (SCCLB) has approved the declaration of wheat flour as an essential commodity in the schedule of the Punjab Prevention of Speculation in Essential Commodities Act, 2021.
The committee’s chairman, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Environmental Protection and Cooperatives Muhammad Basharat Raja, said during a meeting that wheat was already in the list of essential commodities but not flour.
It also approved an agreement between the provincial food department and the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) regarding imported wheat.
In other decisions, the committee approved the expansion of the scope of the Walled City of Lahore Authority across Punjab, besides the creation of three new centres in the environment protection department in collaboration with the World Bank.
Environment Protection Secretary Usman Ali Khan told the meeting participants that the World Bank was ready to support the setting up of the environment monitoring, policy and technology centres to deal with environmental problems in the province.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Lahore Metropolitan Corporation and the Saida municipality of Lebanon was also approved by the committee.
Basharat Raja said the chief minister would choose the officer who would sign the proposed MoU on behalf of the Punjab government.
The cabinet committee also considered private bills related to a constitutional amendment regrading local governments. In a bill, it was suggested that local government elections should be held three months before the end of their term. Provincial Minister Ali Afzal Sahi objected that the proposal was not feasible. Another private constitutional amendment bill presented by some MNAs proposed to keep the period of suspension of local bodies at 60 days.
The parliamentary affairs minister said the Punjab cabinet would take the final decision about the bills.
The committee also approved an amendment to an act, after which the pro vice-chancellor of Pir Meher Ali Shah Arid University can be made a member of the syndicate like other universities.