CM okays Bahawalpur secretariat

Promises South Punjab 35% budget, 32% government jobs

Kashif Zafar/Arshad Shaheen August 12, 2021

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that the South Punjab Secretariat in Bahawalpur will be set up soon.

"I am inviting Prime Minister Imran Khan to come to Bahawalpur again to lay the foundation stone of South Punjab Secretariat," he said while addressing the launching ceremony of Kisan Card at Islamia University on Wednesday.

The chief minister said the rules of business of the secretariat were also being formulated.

"Promises made to the people of South Punjab are being fulfilled. Our government has allocated 35% of the budget for South Punjab. The budget of Rs 190 billion for South Punjab has been earmarked and the funds cannot be transferred to other heads."

The chief minister said that for the first time, details of the South Punjab Annual Development Programme (ADP) had been compiled separately this year. He also announced that it had been decided in principle to allocate 32% quota in provincial jobs for the youth of South Punjab.

"We are considering a proposal to include Mianwali and Bhakkar in the South Punjab quota," he added.

READ Public service essence of democracy: CM Buzdar

Buzdar said the PTI government had introduced district development package to address frustration of neglected areas and allocated Rs360 billion for the purpose. The chief minister said the Kisan Card would play an important role in agricultural development and prosperity of farmers in Bahawalpur region.

More than 135,500 farmers in Punjab have registered for the card.

By using the card at bank ATMs, farmers will be able to get instant subsidy on agricultural expenses.

Chief Minister Buzdar said mega projects worth Rs300 billion were under way under an agricultural emergency.

Under an e-credit scheme, 70,000 women farmers have been given interest-free loans of Rs45 billion.

Buzdar said Rs4.4 billion was provided to farmers to acquire agricultural machinery and certified seeds at subsidised rates. More than Rs12 billion has been given in subsidy to 900,000 farmers to reduce production costs.The chief minister welcomed the inauguration of National Cotton Institute and Inter-Cropping Research Centre in Bahawalpur.

The Islamia University inaugurated a 2.5 MW solar power project costing Rs3.046 million, which will provide electricity to the institution at Rs1.7 per unit. He institution is among the 1,000 best universities in the world, he added.

Plans are afoot to build 20 inflatable rubber dams to store floodwater.

A mega drainage project in Bahawalpur city will be completed at a cost of Rs3.87 billion.

A comprehensive scheme of non-formal education will also being launched for Cholistan, the chief minister said.

An industrial estate will be set up in the region at a cost of Rs7 billion.

The chief minister said integrated development projects would be launched in the desert region by involving 11 departments, including tourism, roads, water and sanitation.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2021.


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