Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif presided over a high level meeting which reviewed important aspects and priorities of Provincial Budget 2016-17, here today. Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that Pakistan Muslim League-N government is implementing the policy of balanced development. He said that uplift of backward and remote areas is among our priorities.
He said that special attention will be paid to progress and prosperity of the people and achieving the target of stable economy in the budget of next financial year.
He said that like previous years, more resources than the ratio of population will be allocated for the progress and prosperity of the districts of south Punjab as PML-N government believes in balanced development. That is why, development of rural economy is included in our priorities and development projects of billions of rupees have been started for the uplift of backward areas, he added. He said that with the completion of these projects, living standard of people of these areas will improve and latest facilities will become available to them.
The Chief Minister said that infrastructure plays a key role in the promotion of trade and economic activities therefore Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Roads programme is being implemented speedily for improving infrastructure of rural areas. This programme will continue next year as well and rehabilitation and construction work of thousands of kilometers long rural roads will be carried out at a cost of billions of rupees.
He said that under ‘Pakian Sarkan—Saukhay Painday’ programme, best facilities of communication will become available to rural population with the completion of big project of construction and rehabilitation of rural roads. It will also help in transportation of agri produce to the markets.
Shahbaz Sharif said that next financial year’s budget of Punjab government will prove to be a harbinger of lasting development of the province and reflective of public aspirations.
He said that special attention will be paid to development of social sectors including education, health, agriculture and backward areas in the budget. He said that steps will be taken for the welfare of deprived segments of the society. He said that policy of austerity will be continued and additional resources achieved through this policy, would be spent on the programmes of provision of relief to the people. He said that public welfare programmes of billions of rupees will be continued for providing relief to the people throughout the province.
The Chief Minister said that water is life and basic need of human beings. He said that every citizen has right over clean drinking water and Punjab government will ensure this right. Decision has been taken for allocation of billions of rupees for big a programme of potable water for this purpose, he added. He said that Saaf Pani Project has also been started from the districts of south Punjab. He said that under Saaf Pani Project, provision of clean drinking water will be ensured to rural populace.
He said that an example has been set up by saving billions of rupees in development projects and this policy will be forwarded. He said that resources are a trust of the nation and every penny is being spent on the welfare of the masses. He said that agriculture is of key importance in national economy and solid steps will be taken for the uplift of agri sector and welfare of cultivators.
Shahbaz Sharif directed that all departments and institutions should ensure utilization of development funds in a transparent manner and completion of development schemes within stipulated period. The resources are a trust of the nation and timely and transparent completion of public welfare projects is essential so that fruits of these projects could reach the people in the real sense, he added.
He directed to make audit system very effective and added that setting up of Punjab Audit Authority should be considered in this regard and immediate steps be taken by keeping in view rules and regulations. He said that it will not only help ensure correct and timely use of resources but check and balance will also improve. He said that delay in development schemes will not be tolerated at any cost.
Provincial Minister for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Hamza Shehbaz Sharif MNA, Chief Secretary, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretary Finance and concerned secretaries attended the meeting.