LAHORE: Additional funds will be allocated for education, health and other social sectors in the next budget, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Monday.
He was addressing a meeting to review the upcoming budget and features of the next Annual Development Programme through video link from London.
“Development of the province and provision of basic amenities to the people are the top priorities of the government. Billions of rupees will be spent on the welfare of people during the next financial year. Special attention will be paid to the development of remote and backward areas,” the CM said.
He said that a project for the provision of clean drinking water to the citizens would be completed speedily. “All steps are being taken for the prosperity of the people and development of the province. Transparency and high standards are the hallmarks of the government. All resources are being utilised for the welfare of the people. Billions of rupees has been saved in development projects,” the CM said.
He directed the officials that the Annual Development Programme should reflect public aspirations and ensure provision of basic amenities to the people at their doorstep. “Development projects should be completed on priority basis during the next fiscal year. Improving the living standard of people is the priority of the government,” he said.
He said that ongoing public welfare schemes should also be completed. “Timely completion of public welfare schemes is necessary. Special measures will be taken in the next budget for the development of education and health sectors and provision of basic amenities to the citizens,” he said.
The CM said that the billions of rupees saved through curtailing non-developmental expenditure and adopting the policy of austerity were also being spent on public welfare. “The government’s austerity policy and reduction in non-development expenditure will continue,” he said.
Shahbaz Sharif said that projects would be completed to address the energy crisis.
The chief minister said that the Annual Development Programme should focus on the achievement of economic goals. “All departments should ensure completion of development projects within stipulated period. Efforts should be made for achieving the targets fixed for this purpose,” he said.
He said that the government had launched mega public transport projects to provide modern transport facilities to people. “After the success of Metro Bus Service in Lahore and Rawalpindi, a metro bus project is in the final stages in Multan. The project has proved to be a milestone in infrastructure sector,” he said.
The CM said that work was also continuing speedily on the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train project. “Its completion will bring about a positive change in the transport culture,” he said.
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Zakat and Usher Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran, MPA Manshaullah Butt, Samiullah Khan, Adviser on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique, the chief secretary and the Planning and Development Board chairman were present.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2016.