LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Friday that his government’s development programme was equitably benefiting urban and rural areas of the province.
He was presiding over a meeting to review progress on public welfare projects.
Sharif said projects costing billions of rupees were being carried out for prosperity of the rural areas. He said development funds allocated to the southern districts were 10 per cent higher than those allocated to the rest of the province.
Sharif said work on the Khadim-i-Punjab Rural Roads Programme and Saaf Pani Project had started and that Rs200 billion would be released for the two projects in the next two years. He said provision of clean drinking water was a priority of the government. Accessibility of potable water in all rural areas of the province would be ensured in the next two years, he added. He said the government was committed to further improving education, health and other social sector indicators. There would be no compromise on work on uplift of these sectors.
The chief minister said agriculture and livestock sectors played an important role in stability of the economy. He asked officials concerned to pay attention to projects through which prosperity of cultivators and solution to their problems could be ensured.
He said the government would spend Rs100 billion for promotion of the agriculture and livestock sectors in the next two years. “It is the government’s responsibility to solve the farming community’s problems. Revolutionary measures will be taken for development of agriculture sector,” he said.
Sharif said the government was also committed to arranging vocational training opportunities for the unemployed youth in the province. He said the youth would be equipped with employable skills through these programmes.
Sharif said it would be ensured that development projects designed for the next fiscal year benefited maximum possible people. He said ensuring welfare of the common man and speedy completion of development works was on top of the PML-N government’s agenda. He said transparency in expenditure of funds and timely completion of works was a hallmark of the PML-N government.
Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, MNA Hamza Shahbaz, the chief secretary, the Planning and Development Board chairman and the finance secretary attended the meeting.
Separately, a delegation of industrialists, businessmen, bankers and economists from across the country called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Friday to discuss various proposals for strengthening of the province’s economy and creation of job opportunities.
The chief minister said that effective measures were being taken to accelerate growth in the industrial sector. He said industrial development was needed to attract foreign investment and to generate more jobs. He said collective efforts were needed to strengthen the economy. He said promotion of investment was needed to increase the country’s export bill.
Sharif said the provincial government would continue consultation with industrialists and businessmen in future.
The delegation included Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Abdul Rauf Alam, Bank Alfalah president Atif Bajwa, Indus Motors chairman Ali Habib, Gul Ahmad Textile Mills chairman Bashir Ali Muhammad and Lakson Investment Limited chairman Iqbal Lakhani.
The industrialists thanked the chief minister for uninterrupted provision of liquefied natural gas (LNG) gas to the sector.
Remembering the nuclear tests conducted by the country on May 28, 1998, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said it was an important day in the country’s history. He said the day should remind the nation of its pledge to uphold the country’s sovereignty and promote solidarity.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2016.
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