CM Mahmood Khan reviews progress on Provincial Climate Change Policy

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DNA

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cabinet meeting held here on Tuesday with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Climate Change Policy and Action Plan-2022, which focuses on reducing vulnerability of natural and human systems as well as lessening greenhouse gas emissions through technological or nature-based solutions.

The new policy is in consonance with the objectives of the Revised National Climate Change Policy 2021 and will address as many as nine Agro-Ecological Zones of the province including the merged districts. The successful implementation of the policy will open new avenues to attract international climate financing in adaptation and mitigation sectors, allowing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province to achieve sustainable development and create resilience against natural disasters thereby securing the province’s fragile economy in confronting future environmental challenges.

The Chief Minister said that after 18th amendment, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa became the first province that devised Provincial Climate Change Policy and Action Plan 2022 in the context of changes taking place in the climate.

The meeting besides the cabinet members was also attended by the Provincial Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Senior Member Board of Revenue and Administrative Secretaries of various government departments.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Information & PRs Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif while briefing media persons about the decisions of the cabinet meeting at ITLA’A Cell informed that the Chief Minister directed the concerned authorities to complete feasibility study within a month period for setting up a plant for producing energy from wastes/garbage.

 The bio-fuel plant will not only help in controlling environmental pollution but will also contribute towards making the province self-sufficient in energy. The Chief Minister, he said, further directed for bringing amendments in the relevant laws with regard to the acquisition of land for setting up universities and no more than 100 Kanals of land be procured for a university.

This will ensure the protection of agricultural lands. The cabinet, he said, also accorded approval towards allowing the food department to sign MoU with the Bank of Khyber for Insaf Food Card. The deserving households, he said, will receive rupees 2100 monthly under the Insaf Food Card for which billions of rupees will be borne by the government as subsidy.

The SACM further informed that the cabinet while reviewing some of its earlier decisions taken during the special budget meeting held on June 13, 2022 accorded approval to reduce the Ad-hoc Allowance 2022 from 16 % to 15 % to be granted to all provincial government employees on running basic pay, with no immediate pay-as-you-go deduction towards the Defined Contribution Pension Program. Similarly, the decision regarding calculation of pension emoluments on the basis of last three years’ average basic pay with effect from 1st July 2022 was also held in abeyance.     

He said that the cabinet also approved the extension of Water and Sanitation Services Company (WSSC) Bannu’s jurisdiction to 11 village councils and 5 neighborhood councils falling within the ambit of the Assistant Director Local Government Bannu to benefit a population of 89, 596 persons.

Barrister Saif further said that the cabinet also accorded approval for lease agreement between the Local Government, Elections & Rural Development Department and Sports, Tourism and Culture Department for giving 100 Kanal land, located on Mardan bypass road, on lease basis to the latter one for the establishment of a Cultural Complex in Mardan. The cabinet, he further informed, also approved the inclusion of Patwar Halqas of Sulatanr and Jarogo valleys in the jurisdiction of Upper Swat Development Authority to enable the Authority to carry out its functions regarding promotion of eco-tourism and environment friendly development effectively. The cabinet, he said, also approved personal upgradation of as many as four employees of the defunct FATA Development Corporation, which included Muhammad Suleman Khan, Muhammad Rafiq, Sanaullah and Fazal Rabi. 

He said the cabinet also approved the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Private Schools Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Act, 2022 with certain amendments in the previous one to make it more clear and simple. Furthermore, the cabinet also approved the posting of Mr. Zakaullah Khattak (PCS EG BS-20) against the vacant post of Managing Director, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Urban Mobility Authority, he informed. Similarly, the cabinet also approved regularization of the 21 left over Special Police Officers of the Special Police Force against the vacant positions in various districts of the province.