Developing Punjab: ‘Ongoing projects improving living standards’

Speakers say funds have been released all over Punjab without any geographical discrimination

APP December 31, 2017

LAHORE: Experts and economists on Saturday said that 6,080 projects, worth Rs550 billion, were ongoing across Punjab and aimed to improve living standards of the common man. They added these initiatives would bring about an economic revolution.

The experts said these development projects/schemes had set precedents of standard, transparency and speediness.

Punjab Planning and Development Department (P&DD) sources said that during the first half of Fiscal Year 2016-17, an amount of Rs282 billion had been released under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for implementation of these schemes.

Giving a breakup of the programme, the experts stated Rs169 billion had been earmarked for social sectors from the development budget. This included Rs42.5 billion for health and Rs68 billion for education, whereas Rs158 billion were set aside for infrastructure development.

This included roads, irrigation and public building sectors. Moreover, an amount of Rs29.2 billion was allocated for the development of agriculture and livestock sectors.

The amount consisted of Rs44.5 billion for education, Rs29.8 billion for health, Rs24 billion for water supply and sanitation and Rs3 billion for sports and youth affairs, the sources stated.

Meanwhile, numerous mega welfare schemes were being carried out at a fast pace. “These funds have been released for the implementation of schemes all over Punjab without any geographical discrimination,” a source stated.

Former P&DD official Dr Mehmood Khalid Qamar said that a total development programme worth Rs550 billion had been approved by the Punjab Assembly for FY2016-17 which was 38% higher than the development programme of the previous year.

Pakistan Economy Watch President Dr Murtaza Mughal said that the security situation in the country had improved after 2013.

Prominent economist Dr Ashfaq Hussain said that during the first half of the current financial year, an amount of Rs282 billion had been released for the implementation of development projects which would change fate of the country. He said the Punjab government was paying special attention to the development of different sectors including power, gas, education, health and roads.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2017.


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