Shehbaz gives approval to establish Punjab Agriculture, Food & Drug Authority
Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has granted approval to the setting up of a completely autonomous Punjab Agriculture Food & Drug Authority.
He gave this approval while addressing a meeting through video link at Civil Secretariat, here today. The Chief Minister said that establishing of the authority is of vital importance in the provision of quality drugs to the people, supply of best agri medicines and fertilizers besides adulteration-free food to the masses.
Punjab Agriculture Food and Drug Authority will be fully autonomous and after the establishment of the first modern drug testing laboratory in Lahore, drug testing labs in Multan, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi will also be upgraded. These drug testing labs will be state-of-the-art on the pattern of drug testing lab set up in Lahore.
The Chief Minister directed that work should be carried out expeditiously for modernizing drug testing labs in the four big cities of Punjab and all matters in this regard should be dealt with in a professional manner.
He said that setting up of the authority will help in curbing substandard and adulterated food, drugs, agri medicines and sprays.
He said that Punjab Agriculture Food and Drug Authority would be free from any interference. Shehbaz Sharif directed that new staff should be recruited for the authority and for the purpose of up-gradation of the labs and special attention should be paid to its training.
He directed that the steering committee should complete the project of establishing the authority and up-gradation of labs in different cities expeditiously. He said that the elements playing with human lives deserve no leniency and no one can be allowed to poison the people in the name of food and medicines.
The Chief Minister directed that paperless system should be introduced in the authority and the entire system should be digital. He said that all out resources would be made available for this important project.
He appreciated concerned Provincial Ministers, Chief Secretary, Addl. Chief Secretary, Chairman Planning & Development and concerned secretaries over speedy disposal of the matters relating to the project of setting up of the authority and up-gradation of other drug testing labs.
Additional Chief Secretary gave a briefing to the Chief Minister regarding setting up of the authority, its important features and the draft law and said that draft law has been prepared for the setting up of Punjab Agriculture Food and Drug Authority.
Provincial Ministers Dr. Farrukh Javed, Bilal Yasin, Advisor Health Kh. Salman Rafiq, Chairman Planning & Development, Additional Chief Secretary, concerned secretaries and senior officers attended the meeting through video link from the Civil Secretariat.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that Restaurants Invoice Monitoring System (RIMS) has been launched from Lahore. This latest system for immediate collection of relevant information about the sales of restaurants will be enforced in all cities of the province under a phased programme. RIMS is the most modern online monitoring system for ensuring that the tax paid by restaurants reaches the government.
He stated this while addressing a meeting through video link, here today. The Chief Minister said that the first balloting of Amanat Scheme under this modern system will be held in April and the computerized balloting process will be transparent.
He said that RIMS is a revolutionary step for encouraging taxpayers besides promoting tax culture in the province. Shehbaz Sharif said that payment of tax is a national responsibility and linked with development and progress of the country.
He said that the new system will help in promotion of awareness in the people regarding payment of tax besides bringing about transparency in the tax system.
He said that a tax day will also be observed in Punjab every year as such measures encourage tax payers. Provincial Minister for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Secretary Finance and head of Punjab Revenue Authority attended the meeting through video link.