Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman (left) administering the oath to the newly-elected Punjab Chief Minister  Maryam Nawaz at Governor House on February 26, 2024. — APP


First-ever female chief minister faces high expectations with regards to women’s issues in province

Punjab Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman (left) administering the oath to the newly-elected Punjab Chief Minister  Maryam Nawaz at Governor House on February 26, 2024. — APP

LAHORE: The newly-elected first female Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz will face huge challenges as her predecessors left a very high level of service delivery and presence in public.

During the last 13-month tenure, Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has appeared as the fastest chief minister in terms of working. He broke the records of Shehbaz Sharif and gained the title “Mohsin Speed”.

Maryam Nawaz’s chief minister-ship is her first experience of any public office and it will be a challenge for her to dilute the images of Mohsin Speed and Shehbaz Speed from the minds of the public by giving high performance.

It is said that the “Citizen Engagement” of the PML-N chief organiser is not very frequent and after becoming the chief minister, she will have to improve her interaction with the citizens on social media platforms.

PML-N sources claimed that Maryam Nawaz has to set aside her arrogance and has to engage herself physically in the field instead of doing drawing room meetings with senior officials.

Shehbaz Sharif and Mohsin Naqvi used to visit different development projects in different cities late at night or early morning and kept a vigilant eye on them. Both of them personally supervised development projects and managed to get them completed before the stipulated time.

Mohsin Raza Naqvi after becoming the caretaker chief minister also announced that he will not take salary and protocol whereas political pundits were expecting that Maryam Nawaz would make similar announcements in her first speech in the assembly but she has not made any such announcement yet.

As the first female chief minister of Punjab, expectations are very high that Maryam Nawaz will take up issues like violence against women, gender discrimination, honour killing, domestic violence and other female-related issues. She is also expected to give special packages for the females of Punjab to ensure women’s empowerment.

Price control, health, education, agriculture, urban development, water and sanitary services, reducing green areas from around the urban areas, the mushroom growth of illegal housing societies, corruption, prosecution and crime control are some of the areas where the new chief minister has to intervene.

Inflation, joblessness and economic growth in the province will also need the attention of Maryam Nawaz and she has to provide job opportunities in the province.

During the tenure of caretaker chief minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi, important health projects were launched in major cities which included the provision of immediate angiography and stenting facility for free angiography of heart patients within 2 hours in major hospitals of Lahore, a foolproof monitoring system, decisions to give financial autonomy to MS of government hospitals.

Now Maryam Nawaz has to introduce similar major facilities in DHQs and THQs of big and small cities of the province and for this, she has to make hectic visits to the province.

Mohsin Naqvi also completed several major development projects ahead of schedule and majorly due to this he was given the name of Mohsin Speed. Maryam Nawaz has to visit the ongoing projects across the province besides initiating new development projects.

Sources close to the CM claimed that Maryam Nawaz has directed to hold a forensic audit of all the development projects initiated during the caretaker regime, especially in the provincial metropolis.

Operations against terrorists in the Kacha area are also an uphill task and the new CM has to sit with the IGP as well as Sindh government officials to devise strategies for new operations.

The smuggling of essential crops such as wheat and rice from the province remained uncontrolled in the previous government and disturbed the demand and supply, which ultimately had an impact on the price of roti/naan and rice. Maryam Nawaz has to take up the issue of bringing down the price of roti/naan, which has reached Rs 25 and Rs 30 respectively. Agriculture development and farmer welfare programs should also be a priority of the new CM.

Implementation of minimum wage across the province especially in the private sector is an uphill task for the chief minister Punjab. For this, she has to make an effective strategy and ensure that the labour department should check the private sector and implement the minimum wage besides taking strict action against the violators. The welfare of poor and indigent people should also be a special feature of the new government.

A good Ramazan package will be a feather in the cap of the new CM as the supply of cheap flour and other essential commodities in Ramadan will improve the confidence of the people in the new CM.

Ensuring austerity and ending corruption is an uphill task and the new CM has to look into the affairs of various government departments and control the use of luxury vehicles and extra petrol.

Controlling the law and order situation, taking effective measures to provide justice to the people and restoring the local government are also some other necessary steps the new CM has to take.

Originally published in The News


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *