ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Punjab government to ensure enhanced participation of the private sector in development projects as the government has limited resources available to carry out development schemes.
Co-chairing a meeting of the Punjab cabinet along with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar here on Saturday, Khan called for implementation of different models of the public-private partnership to reduce the burden on the government. Various development projects also came under discussion during the meeting and options for public-private partnership were discussed at length for the upcoming fiscal year.
The prime minister underscored that human capital was the biggest strength of Pakistan- hence the need to create maximum employment opportunities for the skilled workforce. He also directed for the launch of special projects to promote the agriculture sector and enhance its yield.
Khan lamented that over Rs12 billion was provided in subsidy to the metro bus service, saying that such a huge amount could have been allocated for uplift of education and health sectors. He said that social welfare should be the objective of every development project which should be designed keeping in view their feasibility as well as by ascertaining their schedule for completion.
Calling for easing the investment process, the premier directed for facilitating investors through one-window operations. The incumbent government is focused on bringing about ease of doing business, he maintained.
During the meeting, cabinet members briefed the prime minister about important matters concerning their departments. They also apprised Khan regarding ongoing development projects under public-private partnership.
Speaking on the occasion, Khan directed members of the provincial cabinet to strictly monitor Ramazan bazaars. He asked the Punjab Assembly members and provincial ministers to regularly visit Ramazan bazaars set up in their respective areas.
The prime minister also directed the cabinet members to ensure provision of essential commodities at fixed rates during the holy month and ordered officials concerned to take strict action against profiteers and hoarders.
Later, addressing an Iftar dinner and fund-raising ceremony at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, Lahore, he said unless government hospitals are improved people cannot avail better healthcare facilities.
He said the services at the public sector hospitals could not be improved until a carrot and stick policy was implemented there to reward the competent people and get rid of those who showed inertia.
He said no government system could work in absence of such a policy and people would never be able to get quality treatment. He said currently the waste dumps showed the magnitude of poor management in government hospitals.
Khan said government hospitals would be brought on par with standards of private hospitals. The prime minister said, as part of this reformation process, good doctors would be given attractive salaries and the best talent hired.
He pledged that the government would not privatise public sector hospitals but would change their management system to bring quality to their services and facilities.
He also paid rich tributes to the services of Dr Faisal Sultan and his team for successfully leading Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital to the status of an international institution. He said free treatment is provided to 75 to 80 per cent of patients at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital, and called for developing a similar culture in government hospitals across the country.
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