Funds being spent on minorities’ welfare, says CM

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Nov 25, 2021

LAHORE: Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar said on Wednesday that a sum of Rs2.5 billion was being spent on the welfare of minorities, adding that a two percent quota for minority communities’ students would open the doors of higher education in the best institutions to excel in life.

During a meeting with Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Ijaz Alam Augustine and Youdhister Chohan, MPA, in his office, the chief minister congratulated Youdhister Chohan on becoming member of the provincial assembly. He said that minorities had always played an active role in national development.

The religious minorities enjoy equal rights and instructions had been issued to implement a five percent job quota for minority communities in toto, he added. No practical step was taken for the minorities welfare in the past, he deplored. The chief minister said that minorities’ cells had been set up in 40 provincial government departments along with the nomination of focal persons. Similarly, focal persons have also been nominated in nine divisions, 36 districts and 144 tehsils after setting up minorities’ cells to help resolve their issues, he mentioned. He said that special funds had been provided for the repair and maintenance of Gurdawaras, temples and churches. It was sanguine that practical steps had been taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan to protect the minorities’ rights in Pakistan, he remarked.

The chief minister strongly condemned the ill-treatment of minorities in India which was the so-called claimant of being the largest democracy in the world. The Modi government had turned India into a Hindu state where minorities were languishing, he added.

AUDITOR GENERAL: The chief minister said on Wednesday that transparency and prudent financial management were conspicuous symbols of the Punjab government as huge amount had been saved in development schemes by enforcing strict financial discipline. The chief minister said this during a meeting with Auditor General of Pakistan Muhammad Ajmal Gondal who called on him here at CM’s office and discussed the matters of mutual interest. No one could point a finger at development projects in the province, he stressed and added that financial transparency and governance of the Punjab government were worth following for other provinces. He said that the PTI-led government had presented the largest development budget in provincial history and the latest technology was utilised to ensure timely utilisation of funds. Similarly, a third-party validation system had also been introduced to maintain high standards and timely funds’ spending, the CM added.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS: The chief minister said that effective legislation had been made to protect women’s rights and to overcome violence against them. In his message, he said violence against women is a crime against humanity as it is a legal offence as well as a social menace. The CM observed that this social evil could be eradicated from society by empowering women and ensuring equal status. No other society could present an example of women empowerment as set by Islam 1,400 years ago, he said.

Meanwhile, he pointed out that a state-of-the-art centre had been established in Multan to protect women’s rights and to redress their grievances. Different facilities are provided under one roof in the centre, he added. The scope of such centres would be expanded throughout the province as the government is taking effective steps to end violence against women.