- PM to inaugurate the long-delayed building
- PSIC seeks permission for setting up ‘Pakistan Handicrafts Souvenir Shop’ in new house
By Hamid Khan Wazir
LAHORE, Pakistan: The long wait for the construction of the new Punjab Assembly Building is likely to come to an end as the incumbent government has hit the pedal on the project and it is expected to be completed before the forthcoming Senate Elections 2021.
Well-placed sources told this scribe that the long-delayed project would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan soon, as it is nearing completion after 16 years.
They said that the Punjab Assembly members would vote for the Senate Polls in the new building that was the reason; construction works of the project have witnessed a great pace to meet the given deadline.
The Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi laid the foundation stone of the building in 2005 as the Chief Minister of the Province but the project was largely ignored during Shahbaz Sharif’s tenure as the Chief Minister, mainly due to a Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) project, resultantly its cost multiply several times.
Pervaiz Elahi expressed reservations over the delay of the project and asked the Punjab government to speed up the construction works to ensure its completion. The incumbent government paid special attention to the project and special instructions have been given to expedite the construction.
As the project nearing completion, a delegation of Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) led by the Director Creative and Cultural Yawar Mehdi called on the Punjab Assembly Secretary Coordination Rai Mumtaz Hussain Babar and requested for setting up a Cultural Center in the new Assembly building.
The PSIC has a Cultural Center at the Parliament House in Islamabad and wants to establish a similar Center at the Punjab Assembly in Lahore aimed at promoting Pakistani handicrafts and culture globally.
The PSIC Managing Director Jamil Ahmad Jameel has already written a letter to the Secretary Punjab Assembly for the establishment of the Pakistan Handcrafts Souvenir Shop in the new assembly building.
The letter reads, “I take privilege to introduce you PSIC that has been given mandate under PSIC Act, 1973 for promotion of small and cottage industry through promotion of market driven credit infrastructure and technological support contributing to employment generation, poverty alleviation and socio-economic uplift of the province.”
Jamil Ahmad Jameel said that with this objective and to facilitate craftsmen and artisans working in remote areas, the PSIC has established Handicrafts Development Centers as well as Handicrafts Shops in various cities of Punjab for marketing of the handicrafts items of craftsmen.
It was further stated that the PSIC has the honor that the National Assembly, the Senate Secretariat, the Minister of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chief Minister House, the Governor House, Staff College, and a number of other departments order purchase their official gifts from Handicrafts Shops of Punjab Small Industries Corporation.
“PSIC’s Souvenir Shop is already functioning in Parliament House to promote Culture and Craft of the country since 2011,” the letter reads.
It was demanded that in order to broaden the marketing through the display of national handicrafts, the PSIC intends to set up replication of Parliament House Souvenir Shop in the Punjab Assembly, so that rich crafts of the country are made available to members and visiting dignitaries.
So, as a follow-up, the PSIC delegation led by Yawar Mehdi met the Secretary Punjab Assembly and conveyed the message of Jameel Ahmed Jameel for setting up a Cultural Center in the new Assembly building.
During the meeting, the delegation was briefed about the PSIC contribution for the promotion of crafts and culture. On the occasion, a set of 14 PSIC publications on handicrafts of Punjab was presented for the Assembly Library.
The Secretary issued directives to all concerned departments for proper space for Cultural Centre by the PSIC in the new building.
After the meeting, the delegation was given a tour of the new Punjab Assembly building.