On the direction of Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, 350 subsidized sahulat bazaars have been established in the province to provide essential items at subsidized rates including the provision of 20kg flour bag at Rs.840 and Rs.420 for 10kg bag. Similarly, sugar is available at Rs.85 per kg. The 20kg flour bag is available in the open market at Rs.860. In this regard, the CM maintained that the sahulat bazaar is an initiative to provide relief to the masses adding that all such bazaars are being monitored. The government will go to every extent to provide relief to the citizens and no one will be allowed to exploit the general public, concluded the CM. Meanwhile, Additional DG Excise & Taxation Department Rao Shakeel-ur-Rehman and GM (Marketing) National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation Syed Amir signed an agreement at CM Office on Thursday to provide standardised vehicular number plates to the customers at their doorsteps. Provincial ministers Hafiz Mumtaz Ahmed, Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan, Chief Secretary, MD NRTC Brig. Toufeeq Ahmed, secretary excise and others attended the ceremony. Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, who was the chief guest of this ceremony, expressed the satisfaction that the issue of provision of standardized number plates has been settled amicably. This would be a long-term solution to the provision of number plates along with helping in their identification by security cameras, he added. Universal registration series has been started in the whole of the province and the online auction of attractive numbers has been started as well along with the start of e-payment of all the basic taxes of excise department, he added. It is satisfying that more than five billion rupees have been earned through e-payment system in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the CM stated. Meanwhile, online appointment management system has been introduced to facilitate the applicants and biometric verification will also be started for vehicles’ registration. The chief minister asserted that the provision of better services to the citizens is the priority of the government adding that issuance of standardized number plates, having security features, is important for maintaining law and order. The PTI government inherited the issue of number plates and we decided to solve it on G2G basis while fulfilling all the legal requirements, added Usman Buzdar. This agreement will improve the organizational capacity of the public sector while saving revenue and the government will also achieve export capability in this sector, concluded the CM. Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has announced a five billion rupees relief package for the affectees of Hafeez Centre fire during his visit to Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Thursday. Addressing the traders, the CM told that he directed the line departments to immediately reach the Hafeez Centre and supervised the rescue operation. The government will provide soft loans to 207 affectees in collaboration with the Punjab Bank to help resume their businesses, he added. Around 1.6 billion rupees will be given as a subsidy of mark-up, he continued. The government stands with the business community and instructions have been issued to reactivate the committees for further strengthening the cooperation between the business community and the administration, he told. Similarly, the citizen’s police liaison committee is being reactivated and representation of the business community will be ensured in it so as to facilitate the traders. The CM reiterated the PTI government has solved traders’ problems on a priority basis adding that he is in continuous contact with the businessmen. The CM stated the Punjab government is establishing 13 special economic zones; work has started in Faisalabad and Lahore while the foundation stone will be soon laid in Bahawalpur and Muzaffargarh. The government has also launched the Punjab Rozgar Scheme to provide soft loans worth 30 billion rupees. Along with it, the government gave a tax relief package of 56 billion rupees, including direct tax relief of 18 billion rupees, to the business community during corona and rate of taxes was sufficiently decreased on 20 different services, he said. The sales tax ratio has been decreased from 16 per cent to zero on 13 sectors affected by corona and stamp duty has been decreased from 5 per cent to one per cent, the CM added. The CM assured that meaningful steps will be taken to overcome Hafeez Centre fire like incidents in future and rescue 1122 will be provided more resources. Rehabilitation of affectees is a priority and I appreciate administration and rescue 1122 for their hard work, he added. The restoration process of traders will be accelerated, the CM assured. Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht stated that the CM directed to give priority to the relief package and it has been finalized in collaboration with the Bank of Punjab. The government will continue to work for the welfare of the traders, he added. LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah ur Rehman thanked the CM for his all-out support adding that police and administration are fully cooperating with them. Usman Buzdar has won our hearts by giving this relief package, he added. Traders Fayyaz Butt and Malik Kaleem thanked the CM for providing financial relief to the affectees. Provincial Minister Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, secretaries of finance, industries and information departments and BOP president were also present.