Punjab government’s performance

Published: March 6, 2013

The writer is a member of the PML-N’s media and manifesto committees and a former CFO of IBM Middle East & Africa Region

The completion and launch of the metro bus service in Lahore is a culmination of the outstanding five-year tenure of the PML-N government in Punjab. Led brilliantly by Mian Shahbaz Sharif, the PML-N government has shown once again that given the will, sincerity, commitment and competence, the government can deliver even in very trying circumstances.

The financial position left over by the previous Punjab government was pathetic to say the least. The provincial government’s exchequer was almost bankrupt as a result of extremely poor financial management by the PML-Q government during 2002-2007. However, the performance of the present Punjab government has been remarkable. It truly stands out when compared with the performance of other provinces and the federal government.

For any country to have consistent and sustainable growth, it is imperative to invest in education. Precisely for that reason, Punjab’s education sector received the highest priority. Overall education spending increased by over 900 per cent over the last five years. But it is not just the significant increase in education spending; it is the quality of investment that is more important. Through these initiatives, students from poor families can now hope to study at institutions like LUMS, NUST and FAST.

Some initiatives in the education sector include the establishment of Danish Schools where top quality education is being provided free of charge to students from low-income families and the establishment of the Punjab Educational Endowment Fund through which monetary assistance is provided to students in need. Other initiatives include the establishment of degree colleges, a highly successful laptop scheme, the establishment of the Information Technology University in Lahore and five new women’s universities.

In health, the following major initiatives were taken that completely transformed the sector: the establishment of medical colleges in Sahiwal, Gujrat, DG Khan, Sialkot and Gujranwala, the Institute of Cardiology and Urology in Rawalpindi, a 410-bed hospital in Bahawalpur and a 300-bed hospital in Shahdara and state-of-the-art mobile health units. Overall spending in the health sector shows a 550 per cent increase.

Political parties have criticised the PML-N of focusing entirely on Lahore and ignoring south Punjab. As the financial numbers demonstrate, this is a completely false allegation. Total spending in south Punjab increased from Rs53 billion during 2002-2007 to Rs292 billion during the last five years.  In 2007, south Punjab had an allocation of 15 per cent of the total annual development plan which increased to 32 per cent in 2012-13 — the highest allocation in the last 50 years.

Developments in other areas include the Ashiana Housing Scheme for workers, writing off loans for poor widows, setting up of model police stations and introduction of performance efficiency allowance for low-grade police officials, the Green Tractor Scheme, construction of the Marala Hydel Power Station, rehabilitation and modernisation of barrages, the construction of 11 small dams, widening of roads and an increased budget for water supply and sanitation from Rs13 billion to Rs43 billion.

All of the above speaks volumes about the Punjab government’s performance. This has been achieved in spite of the fact that the main levers of growth are with the federal government. As a result of the outstanding performance by the Punjab government under the leadership of Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab is now truly a model of development for other provinces. All of this was achieved with the highest level of transparency and zero tolerance for corruption, which — in an environment prevailing at the federal level and other provinces — can only be termed miraculous.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2013.

Reader Comments (24)

  • Usman
    Mar 6, 2013 - 11:57PM

    Amazing work done by PML N. Good work Shahbaz sharif you have done it.

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  • Junaid Lodhi
    Mar 7, 2013 - 1:31AM

    Education spendings increased by over 900%,wish I could tell this to IK and the youth which is being fooled.Mian Brother will insha-allah carry on the great work in future as well.
    But this fact should be brought to light that South-Punjab lackes quality education particularly in IT field..IT universities should be build there.
    As I belong to this field I’d also like to through light on the topic,a degree holder from North-Punjab is preferred over a one from S-punjab.

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  • fus
    Mar 7, 2013 - 1:54AM

    Can someone highlight from the article , mega projects or even any major project completed in South Punjab? PML(N) may have done a good job in Northern and central punjab, but it will be good to actually mention the projects. Allocation in paper means nothing.

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  • Sterry
    Mar 7, 2013 - 2:44AM

    A well written article outlining the improvements taking place in Punjab. No one can deny that the province is the most stable, prospering and developing province in Pakistan. Despite the negativity expressed against the Metro Bus Service or trying to discredit the Chief Minister by accusing him of only working for Lahore, people who have been to Punjab can attest to development work in all major cities. If people reward leaders who get things done, then the Chief Minister of Punjab is assured another crack at the top job in Punjab.

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  • Saleem
    Mar 7, 2013 - 6:24AM

    We all can argue all day long whether PML (N) delivered in Punjab or not. But after a recent visit to Punjab I have no doubt in my mind that law and order situation in Punjab may not be perfect but still far better than any other province of Pakistan.

    While visiting Punjab I was complaining about electricity and gas shortage there and met with a person from Gilgit. It hit me hard when he told me that I was complaining about electricity and gas whereas he didn’t know whether he was going to see the next day or not.

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  • Abubakar Umer
    Mar 7, 2013 - 8:34AM

    PML-N has actually delivered where CM Shahbaz Sharif worked tirelessly and indeed brought major positive change in the lives of this province … The man speaks less but have done a number of projects especially related to Education, Law n Order and Infrastructure development … I personally like Metro Bus System which has made Pakistan look like developed countries … will portray good image of Pakistan and will attract foreign investment … Keep it up Mian sb. PML-N deserves to be voted into federal govt. to handle energy crisis on priority and no one else can do so ….

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  • Mar 7, 2013 - 10:09AM

    Well the writer missed the new medical college named Ameer ud Din Medical College in Lahore with General Hospital.

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  • NO BS
    Mar 7, 2013 - 10:34AM

    Self praise and more self praise – results is more unemployment, more people out of schools, more infant mortality, more loadshedding

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  • scotchpak
    Mar 7, 2013 - 2:41PM

    Better Late than never in the case of infrastructure projects like BRT .

    BUT I SORT OF WONDER, WHY OUR BRITISH MASTERS HAD CLASSES IN RAILWAY TRAINS. WAS IT THAT WE PAKISTANIS DON’T BATHE OFTEN ENOUGH – IF SO, PERHAPS THERE SHOULD ALSO BE A “BLUE BUS” FOR THE BLUE-BLOODED. (unlike me ofcourse- I am a fan of Hugo Chavez)

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  • Brutus
    Mar 7, 2013 - 2:42PM

    Dear Author,
    Your credibility is at stakes here, plz respond.

    Annual Budget for Education in 2007-08: Rs. 21 billion (Pervez Elahi Government). Page 10 of this report http://www.pndpunjab.gov.pk/user_files/File/White%20Paper2007-08.pdf .

    Annual Budget for Education in 2012-13 (Shahbaz Sharif Government) was Rs. 31 billion. Plz refer http://tribune.com.pk/story/391245/budget-2012-13-punjab-government-allocates-rs780b/.

    Without the effect of inflation it is an increase of 48%. With the effect of annaul inflation of 15%, the Rs. 21 billion 2007 budget should have been Rs. 42 bullion in 2012 and its being Rs. 31 billion shows a decrease of 35%.

    Where did you derive the figure of 900% increase. Are you comparing the current year figures with the figures of 1947???

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  • Abdullah Hashmi
    Mar 7, 2013 - 3:30PM

    Great work SS. If these facts are true than surely N would sweep the next elections.

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  • economist-man
    Mar 7, 2013 - 5:53PM

    900% increase in education expenditure? That can’t be right and it doesn’t tally up with the released figures. Could the author kindly explain?

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  • Farooq
    Mar 7, 2013 - 7:54PM

    My humble question to the writer:

    There are 4 Daanish schools constructed in five years, with an average enrollment of 500 students per school. You call this exemplary performance with education being “highest priority”?

    You must be seriously joking.

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  • ali xaidi
    Mar 7, 2013 - 9:20PM

    Dear @Brutus and @Economist-Man
    You can find the exact figures here: http://www.pildat.org/publications/publication/budget/UnderstandingPunjabEducationBudget2012-2013-ABriefforPAPStandingCommitteeonEducation.pdf
    Mr Zubair’s credibility was at stake so as a humble worker of PMLN, I believe this was my duty to clear my party’s position. It really is around 900% as the total expenditure makes up to 195 billion rupees approximately.
    Here are the exact figures: i. Provincial recurrent budget: Rs.31 billion,
    ii. Provincial annual development plan: Rs.58.6
    billion,
    iii. Provision of laptops: Rs.4 billion,
    iv. Daanish Schools: Rs.2 billion,
    v. Punjab Education Endowment Fund: Rs.2 billion,
    vi. Punjab Education Foundation: Rs.6.5 billion,
    vii. Punjab Technology University: Rs.1 billion,
    viii. Technical and vocational training: Rs.1.5 billion,
    ix. Remaining district education expenditure: Rs.88
    billion.

    Regards,
    Ali Xaidi :)

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  • economist-man
    Mar 7, 2013 - 10:20PM

    @ali xaidi:
    Ali, you can’t consider Provincial Recurrent Budget (31 billion) and Provincial Annual Development Plan (58.6 billion) as part of the education budget. It’s dishonest to use those figures in a comparison of previous education budgets.

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  • Muslim Leaguer
    Mar 7, 2013 - 11:04PM

    A concise article opening the eyes of ordinary Pakistanis swayed in the past by malicious propaganda. Some of the glaring facts are:
    Overall EDUCATION spending increased by over 900% over the last five years.
    Spending in HEALTH sector shows 550% increase.
    Allocation to SOUTH PUNJAB doubled to 32%.
    Now the pseudo intellectuals bite the dust!

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  • Brutus
    Mar 7, 2013 - 11:46PM

    Ali Xaidi Sahb.
    Thanks for the reply. I read the PILDAT report and brother on page 13 table 2 the total historic infomration is presented. Accoring to that:

    2007 total education expenditure by Punjab Govt 76 billion
    2012 total education expenditure by Punjab 143 billion (on page 11 it is 195 ??).

    If you ignore inflation then it is increse of 88% (if 2012 is 143) or 155% (if 2012 is 195) . If you take annual inflation of 15% then the 2007 amount should have been Rs. 152 billion (76 x power(1.15,5)) in 2012. That is a decrease of 6%.

    But brother where did this 900% come from..I request the author to enlighten us on the calculation. This could be a subject for Doctrate in Mathematics.

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  • Abbas
    Mar 8, 2013 - 2:46PM

    I disagree.. As I have the right to disagree..
    My argument is that Show piece projects can not indeed reduce the sufferings..
    If their would have occured any moderation and reform in Healt and Education only, People would have been saved from spending substantial amount of their earnings in search of Quality Education and Health facilities.

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  • mohammad zubair
    Mar 8, 2013 - 9:05PM

    Just to explain….all the figures are over a five year period i.e. we are comparing spending in the period 2008-2013 vs 2002-2007. So pls revisit the arguments….no need to compare 2012 vs 2007 or likewise. PML-N has delivered and can be seen. Also the fact, everything is comparitive not absolute. We have to compare pml-n’s performance with those of the other provinces and the federal govt and against what happened in the earlier period in punjab.

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  • Hassan
    Mar 9, 2013 - 2:06AM

    Dear @Brutus and @Economist-Man , *Ali is right, its simple maths nothing hard to understand, 900% means 219=190 and 195 is surely more than 900%**, PMLN Punjab Govt did Great job in field of education, even school attendance reached to more than 88%, 680,000 teachers hv learned to use teachers’ guides developed with UK’s help. Even World Bank acknowledged Punjab Govt efforts. What else we need to as an evidence?? more than 4200 labs in high schools, 4 woman universities, medical colleges, agricultural universities, engineering universities etc in limited resources, I must say Well done CM SHEHBAZ !!

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  • Umer Sadiq
    Mar 9, 2013 - 12:59PM

    I think instead of pointing SS we should take a look on other provinces where PPP and ANP government is working.there is a lot of difference b/w PUNJAB and other provinces especially in these 5 years .so a great work done by CM Punjab and will pray that ALLAH give them authority all over PAKISTAN..with a positive mindset.IF they could………

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  • Yousaf
    Mar 31, 2013 - 1:38PM

    Dear Hassan, 900% means a 9-times increase (i.e. 100 v 900).

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  • A2Z
    Apr 17, 2013 - 6:53PM

    I don’t know why we are comparing Punjab’s performance with that of Sindh or KPK or Baluchistan. Why don’t we compare it to that of Rwanda or Ethiopia or Somalia. The results may (and I repeat – may) turn out to be more favorable for PML-N and Shahbaz Sharif in that case. I mean really; is that our standard of measuring competence.
    And by no means that is a 900% increase; so please stop lying so shamelessly. The very fact that the education budget of Punjab for the full fiscal year of 2012 was 31 billion and that of Metro Bus Project was close to 30 billion shall be evidence enough to ascertain what were PML-N’s priorities during this splendid five years rein. The reality on ground is that even my maid doesn’t send her children to a government school (for reasons so obvious). By the way, Sania Gul has brilliantly busted this education sector performance myth (with credible references) in this blog here:

    http://www.insaf.pk/Media/InsafBlog/tabid/168/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/13067/The-State-of-Education-in-Punjab–By-Sania-Gul.aspx

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  • Mubeen
    Apr 19, 2013 - 3:55AM

    @fus:
    Can anyone tell you that PPP has majority of parliamentarians from South Punjab. PPP always banks upon the vote bank from Southern Punjab and was administering southern Punjab during last tenure..

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