Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar distributed scholarship cheques among minority students at a ceremony at his office on Tuesday. Provincial Minister for Minority Affairs and Human Rights Ijaz Alam, SACM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Parliamentary Secretary for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Mahindar Pal Singh, MPAs Haroon Imran Gill and Peter Gill, secretaries of Minority Affairs and Information & Culture departments were also present. The CM said the Punjab government is providing 100 per cent scholarships to students of minority communities from matric to PhD in government institutions. Similarly, 2 per cent quota is also allocated in higher education institutions along with 5 per cent job quota, he added. On the other side, 50 million rupees are allocated for educational scholarship scheme for non-Muslim students and 2.5 crore rupees are given through PEEF while the remaining amount is provided through the concerned department as stipends. The CM further stated 50 per cent scholarship is earmarked for central Punjab, 35 per cent for southern Punjab and share of northern Punjab students is 15 per cent. Non-Muslim students are given scholarships ranging from Rs.15000 to 50 thousand from matric to higher studies. The CM said 714 students, including 157 from Lahore, have been given scholarships on merit during the current financial year. This includes 32 students enrolled in professional educational institutions. The CM further said 50 crore rupees are being spent on the development of localities where non-Muslims are residing and another amount of 6 crore rupees is provided every year for the festivals of every minority community. The government is committed to providing equal opportunities for development and prosperity to the minority communities, he added. Provincial Minister Ijaz Alam thanked the Punjab government for providing scholarships to students of minority communities adding that such students have brought laurels home in the education sector. The PTI government will continue to provide different facilities to the minority community students, he added. Meanwhile, the provincial cabinet, which met under the chair of Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office on Tuesday, gave ex post facto approval to fix Rs 200 per maund minimum support price of sugarcane along with the approval of transportation charges and sugarcane development cess. The meeting also decided to constitute a ministerial committee for the procurement of additional imported sugar. This committee will submit recommendations after a review of sugar stock. The meeting stressed the sugarcane growers will be given a full reward of their hard work during the crushing season and legal action will be initiated against those failing in timely payments. The cabinet allowed the food department to enter into an agreement with PASSCO for the purchase of 63 thousand metric ton imported wheat. The participants expressed the satisfaction over the stabilization of prices of flour and sugar. It decided to secure implementation of 3 per cent job quota for the visually-impaired and approved a further five-year age relaxation for employment purposes. Now, the visually-impaired candidates will enjoy up to 15-year relaxation. The meeting also approved the draft law of the 17-member Punjab Tourism, Culture and Heritage Authority with the CM and tourism minister as its Chairman and vice-chairman, respectively. The authority will work for the promotion of tourism and culture. The meeting decided in principle to lift the ban on the lease of coal mines and also gave in-principle approval to lift the ban on renewal of the mines leases. The meeting decided to constitute a ministerial committee to dispose of the aeroplane (AP-BX/400-A, RK-80) grounded since 2004. This committee will submit its report after reviewing different options including auction. The meeting approved setting up rescue 1122 station in Khairpur Tamewali tehsil of Bahawalpur while the release of NOC for transfer of 6-Kanal land of Tehsil Council Jhang for setting up another rescue 1122 station was also approved. The appointment of the registrar for the University of Jhang was approved along with the decision to hand over assets of Inland Water Transport Company to the Tourism Department. The meeting decided to resolve the matter of acquisition of land for Greater Thal Canal Project Chaubara Branch phase-II and it was further decided to process the case with Asian Development Bank. The 448 miles long Greater Thal Canal will irrigate two lakh and 90 thousand acres of land. The meeting decided to relax rules for the appointment of senior registrars posted in hepatology, liver hepatology and medical ICU from 2019. Meanwhile, approval was granted to issue notification of the medical teaching institute under Section 3(1) of the Medical Teaching Institute Act. It was also decided to implement the MTI Act at Khawaja Safdar Medical College Sialkot. The participants approved to bring King Edward Medical College under King Edward Medical University. The cabinet also approved a south Punjab reallocation allowance for the officers posted in south Punjab secretariat. 655 posts have been created for 17 departments in this paperless secretariat. 237 posts will be in grade 17 and above. 154 IT officials will also be posted beside the miscellaneous staff of 264 officials. The meeting approved further extension in the registration date of online registration with the charity commission.