Draft of freedom of information law okayed
LAHORE: In a landmark decision, the Punjab cabinet approved on Friday the much-delayed draft of the Freedom of Information Law, deciding to forthwith promulgate it in the shape of an ordinance.
The cabinet meeting was presided over by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who decided to extend full assistance to quake-hit people of Balochistan.
The cabinet approved Rs100 million for the prime minister’s fund for the relief and assistance of the quake-hit people. All ministers and PML-N MPAs will also donate their one-month salary to quake victims.
Official sources said the cabinet approved the Freedom of Information Law while suggesting some amendments to it. It decided that the supervisory role of the implementation of the law should be given to a commission as is written in the draft law instead of the provincial ombudsman.
The proposal that the task should be assigned to the ombudsman was given by a committee headed by the ombudsman himself.
Sources said the law would soon be introduced through an ordinance as per the approval by the cabinet, allowing people to have a peep into the affairs and functions of the provincial government and its functionaries.
Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved a package for the rehabilitation of the flood-hit people in the province and the Punjab Employees Social Security Ordinance’s amendment bill.
It approved in principle a social programme for the assistance of the poorest in the province, deciding to give a final shape to it at the earliest.
The cabinet also approved the creation of an authority to look after the matters relating to lady health workers. This would comprise three members of the civil society, two MPAs and as many experts. One each member from the civil society and MPAs would be a woman.
The chief minister said the entire nation was saddened over the ravages of earthquake in Balochistan especially in its Awaran region.
“We stand by the affected people in this hour of trial and will leave no stone unturned in helping them,” he said.
He said a consolidated plan was being made for the assistance of the affectees and they had already been sent necessary items of daily use by air and road.