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Punjab CM asks depts to further decrease unnecessary spending

Punjab CM asks depts to further decrease unnecessary spending

LAHORE: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has directed all provincial departments to follow strict financial discipline and further decrease unnecessary expenditure in the next financial year.

Chairing a meeting to review the provincial budget and annual development programme (ADP) for 2020-21 at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Thursday, he stressed that there was a dire need to focus budget priorities in the backdrop of the unusual situation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Buzdar said the social sector, including healthcare, should be given importance in the next annual budget. He said austerity should be encouraged by controlling expenditure at every level and added that the departments should, themselves, decrease their unnecessary expenses and take solid steps for decrease in expenditure in the next financial year.

The CM mentioned that the decrease in subsidies, being given in different sectors, should be reviewed and attention be given to public-private partnership in the next year’s ADP.Similarly, he issued directions for a comprehensive programme for giving relief to the common man as the government was committed to protecting the indigent strata despite difficult circumstances.

Special remissions to prisoners

The P&D chairman and finance secretary briefed the meeting about the upcoming budget and ADP.

Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, Adviser Dr Salman Shah, the chief secretary and others attended the meeting.

Prisoners: The Punjab home department on Thursday notified special remissions, with the exception laid down in Section 402 of the code ibid, to the convicted prisoners confined in Punjab jails on the occasion of Eidul Fitr.

The home department notified that the remission under Section 401 CrPC would be given to those prisoners, whose un-expired portion of sentence was less than six months, provided that they had not been sentenced in anti-terrorism and anti-state activities.

The remission will also be given to those convicted female prisoners, who have completed 75 per cent of their sentence and had no history of past conviction; as well as those women/ juvenile who were sentenced to a term of one year or less.

The remission will also be given to those convicts, who have otherwise completed their sentence but remain in jail on account of non-payment of fine/ monetary plenty in light of relevant provisions of Diyat, Arsh and Daman Fund Rules, 2007 of the federal government.

The home department also notified that the special remission under Rule 216 of Pakistan Prison Rules, 1978, to the extent of 60 days was granted to prisoners confined in Punjab jails. However, this remission shall not be granted to prisoners convicted under offences like narcotics, smuggling, zina, terrorism act, espionage, sectarianism and anti-state activities.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2020

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