Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Friday approved the inception of seven development projects, costing around Rs 75 billion, under public-private partnership mode. He was chairing a meeting of public-private partnership policy and monitoring board at his office. Secretary PPP policy and Monitoring Board Dr Farrukh Naveed briefed about the progress made on the projects. According to details, repair and maintenance of Kharian-Dinga road and Muridke-Narowal road’s restoration work will be done in public-private partnership mode. Similarly, Gujranwala-Pasrur road will be dualized from Gujranwala Eastern Bypass to Sialkot-Lahore Motorway (Pasroor Interchange). Furthermore, the Multan Ring Road project and Naya Pakistan Housing Development Plan in Faisalabad will also be executed through public-private partnership mode. The BoR land at Jail Road will also be utilized under a public-private partnership. The meeting approved to cancel the RFP and bidding process of the Rawalpindi Ring Road project and allowed revised proposals for the Multan-Vehari dual road project. The meeting excluded Gujrat-Jalalpur Jattan Road from PPP mode for its inclusion in the public sector development program (PSDP). Proposals regarding the Faisalabad-Chiniot-Sargodha dual road project were approved along with the approval of the revised proposal of the water meters’ installation project in Lahore. The construction of three parking plazas in Rawalpindi was also approved in the meeting. The CM directed to expedite work on PPP mode projects for their completion according to the timelines. The timeline of every stage of the project should be determined, he added and further directed to expedite work on roads construction projects in PPP mode. The decisions made in the sixth meeting were also endorsed. Punjab Housing Minister Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, C&W Minister Sardar Asif Nakai, Economic Affairs Advisor Dr Salman Shah, SACM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Chief Secretary, SMBR, Chairman P&D, administrative secretaries, CEO Public-Private Partnership Authority Amjad Ali Awan, member PPP and planning & development and others attended the meeting. OLMT stations The Punjab Chief Minister also directed to devise a plan for the promotion of commercial activities at the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) stations to generate revenue along with improving cleanliness arrangements at the train routes and stations. Chairing a video-link meeting of the Punjab Masstransit Authority at his office, he approved re-tendering of janitorial services’ contract of the OLMT. The meeting reviewed different proposals to minimize the subsidy of the OLMT as the CM directed to take steps for the issuance of the personalized cards. The authority will submit its recommendations in 30 days and the fare will be determined according to the travel distance. In principle approval was accorded to constitute a separate force for the security of the metro bus service. This will help in saving security-related expenditures. The stations and corridors of the metro bus system in Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi-Islamabad will also be used for revenue generation. Similarly, the OLMT stations will be utilized for increasing resources. Meanwhile, a committee was constituted to submit its recommendations for increasing the salaries of authority employees. Transport Minister Jehanzeb Khan Khichi, Chief Secretary, chairman P&D, secretary transport, MD Punjab Masstransit Authority attended the meeting while Sadia Sohail MPA and officials of different departments participated from the civil secretariat. Ehsaas programme Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said the Ehsaas programme, launched by the government, is aimed to empower the neglected segments of society. The CM said philanthropists were the benefactors of society as they strive to lessen the difficulties of the destitute. He said this during a meeting with founder of Akhuwat Foundation Dr Amjad Saqib, who called on him at the CM office and discussed empowerment of the impecunious strata through micro-financing. The CM said a project has been launched to rehabilitate the transgender community while the elderly citizens would also be assisted in the shape of trimonthly pensions. PML-N MPA A Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) MPA from Gujranwala Chaudhry Ashraf Ali Ansari called on Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office on Friday and discussed matters of mutual interest. Another PML-N leader, Ch Muhammad Yunis Ansari, was also present. The CM said that the chief ministership was meant for public service, adding that parliamentarians were his companions and the solution to their problems was his responsibility. A special package, worth billions of rupees, had been announced for Gujranwala city and development projects would be timely completed. “I will personally monitor the pace of development as composite development is the prime concern of the government” he said. “My doors are always open for solving the public problems because the government is working with the passion of service,” he added. The CM said the negative narrative of the opposition had been rejected by the people while the PDM [Pakistan Democratic Movement] had ended in fiasco. In fact, the PDM was composed of assorted personalities with no sense of direction, he added. The people need politics of public service and the negative politics had met its logical end, added the CM. Yunis Ansari and Ashraf Ansari expressed full confidence in the leadership of Usman Buzdar and thanked him for the development package. “You have won the hearts of the people of Gujranwala,” they added. International Labour Day is being celebrated with simplicity due to the corona pandemic as the situation requires that we should remain confined to our homes. This was stated by Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar in his message on International Labour Day. The CM termed the labourers as national heroes who strengthen the economy with their hard work. He mentioned May 1st reminds us of the struggle of the martyrs of Chicago against oppression adding that the religion of Islam has taught us about the respect and dignity of the labourers. The religion of Islam has termed the labourers as a friend of Almighty Allah, he added. He said the government is committed to providing rights to the labourers as the country belongs to them. Various steps have been taken for the welfare of the labour community because durable development cannot be ensured without giving due status to the labour community, he added. The CM emphasized the labourers play a leading role in the strengthening of the economy and maintained that the establishment of educational institutions for the children of labourers, social security hospitals and labour colonies are proof of Punjab government’s labour-friendly policies.