The Punjab cabinet standing committee for finance & development approved a number of mega projects and also in-principle approved to transfer new colleges, universities and hospitals on solar energy to conserve energy. The approval was made in a meeting of a standing committee chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar which reviewed the pace of progress on development projects. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal, Chairman P&D and secretaries of finance, housing, local governments and special healthcare & medical education departments and others. The meeting was told that the transfer of new institutions on solar energy will ensure up to 45 per cent energy conservation. The meeting also gave in-principle approval to establish a directorate of drug control to regulate the manufacturing and standard of cosmetics and allied issues. Similarly, the establishment, as well as up-gradation of several hospitals, was also approved. New DHQ hospital in Hafizabad will be constructed at a cost of eight billion rupees while THQ hospital Nowshera of district Khushab will be upgraded with a cost of Rs25 crore. Similarly, Rs. 40 crore will be spent to upgrade THQ hospital Jaranwala. The RHC Uch Sharif will be converted to a 60-bed hospital while the meeting also approved the up-gradation of THQ hospital Pattoki and establishment of a trauma centre with a cost of Rs. 21 crores. Along with it, the surgery ward will be constructed in Chunian hospital with Rs. 13 crores while Rs. 7 crore will be spent to build an emergency ward in Lalamusa hospital. The THQ hospital Kharian will be upgraded with Rs. 19 crores and another amount of Rs. 37 crores will be utilized for the up-gradation of THQ hospital Minchinabad. One billion rupees were approved for eight different roads of Faisalabad. This approval was given in the backdrop of an announcement made by CM Usman Buzdar during his Faisalabad visit to complete 22 development projects with Rs.14 billion under the district development package. On the occasion, the participants also in-principle approved to establish dispensaries in Barkhan and Chaghi by the Punjab government as a good well gesture with a cost of Rs. 4 crores. The meeting was further told that the Punjab government will spend 740 million rupees for a general hospital in Turbat. Meanwhile, Chairman Association of Private Sector Universities Prof. Dr Ch. Abdul Rehman called on the Chief Minister to discuss problems and higher education reforms. It was agreed to call the meeting of the higher education reforms committee. The CM assured to early resolve the problems being faced by the private universities adding that the provision of the facility of one window operation is being reviewed for the private universities. Private educational institutions have an important role to play and every effort will be made to resolve the problems of private sector universities, he added. Separately, Punjab Ombudsman Major Retd. Azam Sulaiman also called on the Punjab Chief Minister and presented him the annual report as well as apprised him about the performance and other affairs of the institution. During the meeting, he chief minister said that PTI believes in transparency and merit in government affairs. Corruption, irregularities and negligence cannot be tolerated. The process of accountability and monitoring should be improved and made more efficient. He said that equality cannot be ensured without bringing transparency in government affairs. He further stated that the role of the ombudsman’s office is of great importance for the redressal of public grievances. He directed that public servants should resolve people’s problems on merit.