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Multan likely to be chosen for south Punjab mini-secretariat

By Intikhab Hanif 2019-03-04
LAHORE: The South Punjab mini-secretariat is most likely to be set up in Multan as is the choice of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and its set-up is going to be finalised by April 15, according to official sources on Sunday.

There have been three opdons for the mini-secretariat --Multan, Bahawalpur and of late Lodhran.

The last choice was stated to be of Mr Jahangir Khan Tareen.

Sources said on Sunday it had almost been decided now to establish the secretariat in Multan because of its closeness to the provincial metropolis, Lahore. Now, the matter left undecided was selection of the premises in Multan.

They reiterated that the New Kutchery located at the peripher-ies of Multan could most likely be selected for the mini-secretariat.

It was constructed over 100-kanal land in 2015-16. But soon after shifting there, lawyers and judges in Multan had found the new place unsuitable and returned to the old courtrooms. The New Kutchery is lying vacant at present.

Secretaries of the 18 departments that would function in the mini-secretariat have been asked to finalise staff for it. This administrative structure would be notified before April15 to give it a legal cover.

As many as 150 posts of these 18 departments have already been created as an initial step. The secretariat would function under an additional chief secretary. Each department would be represented by a special secretary, having a team of two additional secretaries, four deputy secretaries and four section officers. Each team would have supporting staff.

The police department would be represented by an additional IGP, supervising RPOs, DPOs and police under them in the South Punjab districts. The selected departments include planning and development, health, education, irrigation, communication and works, finance, local government, housing, women development, energy and agriculture.

Officials said the provincial government was repeatedly reminding all secretaries to complete their task of finding of ficers and of ficials willing to work in the minisecretariat. It had almost been decided to give an extra basic pay to all those sent to Multan as an incentive. Good residences and proper transport facilities too were being considered as an incentive.

They said all departments had been asked to separate files of matters relating to South Punjab without fail.

Each file should have at least three years` history. They said the services and general administration and the finance departments have already figured out budget for the mini-secretariat that would run into billions of rupees. The government would also announce 33 per cent of its development budget for South Punjab in its annual budget 2019-20 in May this year.