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Development in South Punjab is our priority: Shahbaz Sharif

Lahore: Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has said that, the people’s government of Punjab has given priority to south Punjab with regard to development projects during the last four and a half years. He said, under Green Tractors Scheme, a total number of 10 thousand tractors are being distributed, out of which, 4500 tractors would be distributed in 13 district of south Punjab, while 5500 tractors would be distributed in the remaining 23 districts. He said 15 percent special additional quota has been given to South Punjab.

The Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was addressing a big gathering of farmers at the sports ground of Zakriya University Multan, today. He said those who make tall claims about granting rights to South Punjab, did nothing for this region. He questioned where those people were when South Punjab was submerged in the flood of River Sindh. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that he remained with the flood affectees till the receding of flood water. He said that a huge amount of 23 billion rupees was spent on the rehabilitation of flood affectees while new houses were constructed for them at a cost of Rs. 1.5 billion. The Chief Minister said that all Daanish schools, constructed with billions of rupees are working in South Punjab while there is not a single Daanish school in the central or north Punjab. He said all mobile health units imported from Holland, are also providing services in South Punjab. He said six new universities have been established in South Punjab, out of which, three are in Multan, whereas the Punjab government has allocated special assistance worth three billion rupees for compensation of damages and rehabilitation of flood affectees of DG Khan and Rajanpur districts. Referring to Asghar Khan case, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that he respects the decision of supreme court, however, inquiry at the hands of Zardari’s FIA is not acceptable and an independent commission should be formed for investigation into the matter consisting neat and clean people having good character and fear of God. He said he would resign even if corruption of even a single penny is proved against him, during the last four years and would be accountable to the people. He said when independent commission would make investigation, it would also investigate into the billions of dollars of Zardari in Swiss banks, those who looted Hujjaj, corruption committed in rental power projects, Safe City issue, NICL scandal, in addition to holding accountability for Rs. 50 crores to purchase loyalties of members assemblies after removing an elected government in 2009. He said accountability would also be conducted for corruption committed in the name of flyovers, while those who tell lies to the people and indulge in fraud and corruption would also be brought before the court of law.

Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that the youth between the age of 15 to 35 years constitute 60% of our total population and Punjab government is pursuing the policy of imparting them skills to enable them earn their livelihood independently. He said during the current year, one lakh ten thousand laptops would be distributed like the previous year on the basis of academic performance. He pointed out that deserving girl and boy students are getting scholarships, under Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) worth rupees 10 billion from metric to MA level, while youth farmers are being provided tractors under the Green Tractors Scheme. He said that during the last four years, 30 thousand tractors have been distributed, with a subsidy of Rs. 6 billion, while during the current year, 10 thousand tractors are being distributed, with a subsidy of rupees 2 billion which is a record in the 65 years’ history of Pakistan. He said had such projects been made earlier, Pakistan would not have been standing as a beggar in the comity of nations neither we had to face threats.

Provincial Agriculture Minister Ahmed Ali Olakh said that Green Tractors Scheme is a proof of Punjab Chief Minister’s farmers-friendly attitude and his agriculture polices have benefitted farmers a great deal. He said, wheat was imported before the present government came into power while now with the grace of Allah, we are exporting it. He said during this government, 80 new varieties of seeds of different crops have been introduced due to which Punjab has produced more than one crore 90 lakh tons of wheat for the first time in its history. Secretary Agriculture Mian Muhammad Mushtaq said that Punjab government has made South Punjab it focus with regard to agriculture, whereas 27 billion rupees subsidy has been given during the last four years, out of which, Rs.15 billion subsidy was only for South Punjab. He said in North Punjab one tractor is being distributed among the population of 11 thousand persons, under the Green Tractors Scheme, while one tractor is being distributed in the population of seven thousand in South Punjab. He said a green revolution has taken place under the dynamic leadership of Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. Later, the Chief Minister distributed keys of tractors among 538 lucky young farmers.

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