Lahore: Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf Chairman, Imran Khan in a press conference held in the Central Media Cell, shed light on the failed performance of Punjab government. Flanked by Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi,PresidentJjaved Hashmi, Central Information Secretary Shafqat Mahmood, Ahsan Rasheed and others, he said all the economic indicators i.e agriculture, energy, law and order, education and health, supported his claim that the Punjab government’s performance is pathetic. PTI Chairman revealed the Punjab government’s claimed figures do not reflect reality.
The actual figures show that the average growth in Punjab has been a mere 2.5% as compared to the national growth rate of 3.4%. Punjab, which is predominantly an agricultural, has also suffered in this sector as the growth rate in this sector indicates only 1% growth as compared to the national average of 3%. The Punjab Government has been blaming the Federal government for shortage in energy, using the 18th amendment as a shield to hide their own shortcomings. However, the PTI chief stated that prior to this amendment; article 157 of the constitution gives explicit authority to the provinces to undertake energy projects.
The Punjab government has not produced a single megawatt of energy in the last 4.5 years. Moreover, Khan stated that the law and order situation in Punjab is also abysmal. There has been an overall increase in crimes by 12%, with crimes against property increasing by 37%, robbery by 109%, murder 15% and rape 22%. There has been a lot of talk about education by the Punjab government; however statistics show that 5700 schools have been shut down during their tenure. While the population has increased manifold, the gross enrollment at primary level has gone down by 1%.
PTI Chairman stated that rather than spending on sectors like health and education, all the development fund has been spent on an ill planned project i.e. the Rapid Bus Transit System. The project is merely an election gimmick in order to create hype amongst the masses. This is more than the combined provincial budget for education and health. The project initially started with 21 billion development funds allocated for it, however, according to our sources, the project has been revised and it is suspected that till the time of completion, approximately 70 billion will be spent on it.
PTI Chairman concluded by saying that Pakistan needed change and PTI is the first party to have stated in its economic agenda that we will ensure the devolution of power and direct funding down till the village level. PTI is also the first party to have stated that we will increase the tax net.