Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Saturday that the Khadim-i-Punjab Rural Roads Programme would prove to be a milestone when it came to revamping the rural economy.
Sharif made the remarks while chairing a meeting convened to review the programme’s second phase. The chief minister said the Rs150 billion initiative would transform lives of citizens resident in rural areas. He said there was no precedent for an initiative of such scale in national history.
The chief minister said a network of hundreds of kilometre-long roads would be established over 2017-18. Sharif ordered the formulation of an effective axel loading system and directed the pertinent committee to quickly present its recommendations in this regard.
Sharif instructed all DCOs and DPOs to ensure that indiscriminate action was taken against those involved in instances of overloading on roads constructed and revamped under the programme. He said regular reports should be submitted in this regard. Separately, the inaugural meeting of the Infrastructure Development Authority (IDA) was organised under the chairmanship of the chief minister.
The organisational structure of the authority was approved on the occasion. Conditional approval was also given to the authority’s six-month budget. Addressing those present on the occasion, the chief minister said the authority had been constituted to ensure the quick completion of infrastructure projects. Sharif said the provision government had cultivated a quick and transparent culture of project completion. The chief minister said the authority would have to play a proactive role in this regard.
Federal minister calls on CM
Federal Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi called on the chief minister.
Matters of mutual interest including power generation projects were discussed on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Sharif said work on a 3,600-megawatt gas-fired power plant had been speedily progressing. He said the government had saved a sum to the tune of Rs112 billion by ensuring transparency in power generation projects. The chief minister said gas-fired power projects would be completed by the end of 2017.
Sharif said concerted efforts had been made over the last two-and-a-half years to curb the energy shortfall through speedy execution of power generation projects. The chief minister said the national economy had improved due to the government’s policies, investors’ confidence had increased and the nation’s foreign exchange reserves stood at an all time high.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2016.
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