The Punjab Cabinet has approved a 25 percent special allowance for over 0.721 million provincial employees of Grades 1 to 19 from 1 June 2021. It also approved Rs. 7.10 billion for free medical facilities for the residents of the DG Khan and Sahiwal divisions under the first phase of the Universal Health Insurance Program.
The provincial Chief Minister (CM), Sardar Usman Buzdar, who chaired the meeting, said that free health coverage up to Rs 0.72 million will be provided by December 2021. Additionally, the directives were issued for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
The provincial government approved, in principle, the provision of financial assistance to the rain-hit areas of Hafizabad, Sahiwal, Okara, Pakpattan, and other districts.
Additionally, the cabinet approved an amendment to the Punjab Board of Revenue Act, 1957 to allow early decisions on revenue cases by withdrawing the right of a second review appeal in such cases.
Other key decisions include amendments to the 122-year-old Stamp Act of 1899. This will allow the Board of Revenue (BoR) to audit private housing societies. It means that the record of flats and multi-story buildings will be compiled to collect revenue.
The CM has issued directives for the formulation of a master plan of all the cities. In-principle approval was given for the exempt affordable housing projects in the peri-urban areas from PRA’s sales tax, as well as an amendment to the Punjab Arms Rules, 2017 to enable Deputy Commissioners to transfer and modify arms licenses.
Meanwhile, the approval to amend the Punjab Finance Act, 2014 will ensure the redressal of complaints about the imposition of taxes on luxury houses at the grassroots level. The concerned region director will decide about the complaints while the Additional DG will hear the appeals.