Colonies Deptt Checked Abuse Of State Land, Increased Revenue Under PTI: Chohan

LAHORE, (Muzaffargarh.City – 20th Aug, 2020 ) :Provincial Minister for Colonies Fayyazul Hassan Chohan said on Thursday the PTI government had ensured reforms, transparency, rule of law and eradication of corruption from the colonies department during the last two years of its rule and the initiatives would found an era of prosperity in the province. Talking to APP here on Thursday, the minister said sincere efforts had been made to rid the department of corruption, nepotism, loss, undue delays besides using the state lands for the economic growth and welfare of the masses, adding that the previous government played havoc with the government resources. Through good governance, the Minister Colonies responded, the PTI government had considerably enhanced revenue, adding that department’s revenues had almost been doubled to Rs 2 billion in 2019-20 which were mere Rs 1 billion in 2018-19, saying that a daunting revenue target of Rs 20 billion had been set for the years 2020-21. To a question, the Minister said one of the landmark achievements of the PTI government had been the formation of rules and regulations for the smooth functioning of the department which had been put off for the last one decade or so to achieve vested interests by the previous governments. About the rules and regulations, Chohan said the state land was used as a bribe in the past as government land was leased out to the favorites for hotels, petrol pumps, agriculture purposes, adding that comprehensive reforms were introduced by the PTI government in September 2019 regarding the lease of state lands. On transparency, he said transparent auction system was formulated so that all state properties could be auctioned under an honest system, adding that the government had conducted re-assessment of the market rates regarding lease of CNG stations, petrol pumps, hotels, agriculture lands on the state land. “Former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif awarded state land for mere peanuts to the journalists for political gains while the PTI has leased out the same state lands for millions of rupees per annum”, he added. About the reforms, Chohan said on the expiry or cancellation of lease, the state lands were reassessed and leased out at the prevalent market rates after the new legislation, adding that rules of auction committees were also revised.

To a query, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan said that elimination of red-tapism in the department had been another achievement of the PTI government during the past two years as the Colonies department approved state land for the development of industrial zones in Sahiwal, Muzaffargarh and Faisalabad without much ado. He said the land would help usher in an era of trade opportunities and economic prosperity in the province. Dilating on government’s pro-poor agenda, he said ownership rights were given to small farmers in the nook and corner of the province and it was ensured that no corruption or malfunctioning could occur in the distribution of state land to the deserving small farmers across the province. About economic boon for the less-privileged areas, Chohan said it has been ensured that the state land, in the less privileged areas, was used in a better way so that economic change could be made possible in the province. About economic growth in the province, he said the colonies department would give 18,000 kanal land for the Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme which was being developed by the Federal and Punjab governments for people of the province. The Minister, in response to a query, said the provincial Colonies Department allotted state land for the development of solar and hydel power energy projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), adding that land was leased out for the Jinnah Solar project in Cholistan and Azad Pattan Hydropower Project. He said formulation of policies for Kutchi Abadis in the province was another feather in the cap of the government, adding that no rules existed in the department for last many decades and the previous regimes had ignored the making of policies. He further said the legalization of rules and regulations of kutchi Abadis would bring economic relief to the poor in the province. To a question, Fayyazul Hasan Chohan reiterated the resolve that the governmentwould purge the department of any remnants of corruption and enable it to play itsrole in the economic growth of the province as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.