Cabinet okays cheap electricity for agriculture, industries – Newspaper

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Wednesday decided about the supply of cheap electricity produced by the province’s recently-built power stations to the local industrial and agricultural sectors for their development.

The cabinet met here with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair.

A statement issued here said the Malakand-III, Daral Khawar and Machai power stations would collectively generate 137 megawatts electricity, whose supply to industries would bring about an industrial revolution in the province.

The cabinet was informed that the Pehur hydropower station model would be replicated through an open competition in that respect.

The provincial government has already established special economic zones in the province to ensure prosperity, mitigate poverty, enhance employment opportunities, promote skill development, and increase productivity.The cabinet approved the proposed KP Schools Bags Limitation Weight Act, 2019, for both public and private primary and secondary schools.

Declaring that heavy bags have been the root cause of spinal injuries among schoolkids, the statement said violation of the Act would lead to punitive action against the heads of public schools and fine up to Rs200,000 for private school administrations.

Proposed law on schoolbag weight also approved

The cabinet was briefed about the maximum weight of 1.5kg had been set for pre-grade 1, 2.4kg for grade 1, 2.6kg for grade 2, 3kg for grade 3, 4.4kg for grade 4, 5.3kg for grade 5, 5.4kg for grade 6, 5.8kg for grade 7, 5.9kg for grade 8, 6kg for grade 9, 6.5kg for grade 10 and 7kg for grade 11 and 12.

The chief minister ordered a crackdown on stockpiling, hoarding and price hike.

The cabinet approved the first-ever commerce and trade strategy for 2019-23 period that will be shared with the federal government.

Under the strategy, bazaars will be established in border areas, the business community will be given incentives and an environment of ease-to-business, the departments will be digitally interlinked, and promotional units will be set up for trade development.

The cabinet was briefed about wheat availability in the province and was told that the provincial government had already ordered the import of 660,000 metric tons of wheat through Passco and Trading Corporation of Pakistan to address shortages in the province, while 218,000 metric tons of wheat had already reached the province with 3,000 metric tons being provided to flour mills on a daily basis since Aug 6.

The cabinet formed the Food Committee consisting of Taimur Jhagra, Mian Khaiqur Rahmand, Akbar Ayub and Kamran Bangash to take steps for wheat import and ensure provision of atta to the people at subsidised rates.

It also approved the inclusion of the communication and works secretary in the committee already formed to settle the Swat Serena Hotel lease affairs.

The cabinet constituted a panel to reconstitute a committee for the board of governors of the Provincial Services Academy.

It also approved the Boiler and Pressure Whistle Rules and agreed to support the Bank of Khyber for being a public sector bank. The departments will deposit surplus amounts increasing the limit from 10pc to 20pc of the amount, said the statement.

The cabinet was briefed about the Alternate Dispute Resolution Bill, 2020.

The chief minister formed a committee for the bill’s improvement. The committee comprises law minister Sultan Mahmood Khan, relief minister Iqbal Wazir and Zakat minister Anwar Zeb.

The cabinet consented to the establishment of police stations and police posts in the merged tribal districts under the accelerated implementation projects with an allocation of Rs7.377 billion, while the proposed amendments to the KP Sugar Factories Control Act, 1950, were approved for the timely sugarcane crushing and prevention of artificial sugar shortages.

The amendments promises imposition of fine on the factories delaying sugarcane crushing. The Punjab government has already introduced such a mechanism.

The cabinet also approved the establishment of the KP Sugarcane and Sugar Beet Control Board in the province.

Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2020

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