Lahore : Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that economic targets cannot be achieved without first developing the human resource because high-quality human resources play a pivotal role in overall socio-economic development.
That is why, Punjab government has given particular importance to the best development of human resources and practical steps have been taken for developing skilled workforce according to industrial needs.
He expressed these views while addressing the inaugural session of two-day long Punjab Human Development Forum-2018 which held under the aegis of P&D Department at a local hotel, here today.
In his keynote address, the Chief Minister said that attending this forum is a matter of pride for him as this august platform will prove feasible with regard to the development of human resources.
He reiterated that provision of quality facilities to every citizen of the province is the mission of the government assuring that he will not sit idle till the fulfillment of this mission.
He said that Punjab government has devised a composite strategy for the development of different sectors and the concepts of good governance have been promoted in the province.
He said that provision of clean drinking water to the citizens is a gigantic task adding that government is fully committed to provide clean drinking water to every citizen of the province. For this purpose, we have launched a mega programme; however, we have faced certain difficulties and setback. Due to lack of competent human resource and other professionals, along with many other reasons, we have not succeeded much in this regard.
He maintained that capacity issues exist not only in Punjab but in the whole country as well and without solving them success cannot be achieved. Quality human resource is a pre-requisite for materializing the projects of public importance. We have to move further by accepting our faults and mistakes because positive results are achieved by moving further by learning from the mistakes. Unluckily, the past governments continued to sing the mantra of ‘all is good’ for the last 70 years and facts were ignored. It was claimed as if rivers of milk and honey are flowing here.
The Chief Minister said that Dictator Musharraf deceived the nation by laying the foundation of Basha Dam project as no spade work was ever done. There was no design, nor any land was procured and even the approval was not accorded. Along with it, resources were also not allocated for the project.
The past governments have tremendously damaged the confidence of the nation with their false claims. The incumbent government has made sincere efforts to rid the country of various problems and these efforts have proved fruitful. We have completed energy projects of 5000 megawatts capacity from our own resources in a record period of time. Due to the completion of these projects, load-shedding has been overcome. We have not established these projects by getting loans from the World Bank or Asian Development Bank but the projects have been set up with the hard earned money of the people of the country
The Chief Minister observed that development of high-quality human resource is the need of the hour keeping in view the fourth industrial revolution. Punjab government has taken effective measures to deal with this challenge. We are also striving for overcoming the deficiency of nutrition in the children. A large chunk of population consists of the youth and different programs were underway to empower them.
He said that youth is being imparted technical education according to the market needs. PEEF is another beneficial program which has helped more than three lakh deprived students to study without being burdened. All the federating units have been included in this beneficial program, he added.
He said that a culture of supremacy of merit and transparency has been promoted in the province. More than two lakh teachers have been employed on merit. However, master trainers are also required to provide quality trainings to the teachers. He said that there is no dearth of resources as Punjab government has provided billions of rupees for health and education sectors.
The correct use of resources should also be ensured to achieve positive results of these efforts. In this regard, concerned ministers and their secretaries should move forward to take a lead. Punjab government has spent every penny of its resources on the welfare of masses in a very transparent manner. High-quality medicines are being provided in public sector hospitals and their samples are also sent to world renowned laboratories for analysis and these have been passed hundred percent.
Meanwhile, latest system of drug testing labs has been introduced in addition to modernization of existing labs. He said that mobile health units are providing healthcare facilities to the people of remote areas at their doorsteps and added that more 54 mobile health units are also being sent to different far-flung areas.
He said that outdated system of forcing the patients to go to private service providers for tests for the sake of money is being done away with and latest CT scan machines are being installed in all the districts of the province. These machines will be installed and operated by the same companies to provide round-the-clock services. He said that speedy steps have been taken to improve the standards of healthcare services and public private partnership based system has been introduced in this regard.
He said that PKLI has been established by the Punjab government in Lahore and added that Rs.20 billion is being spent on it. World renowned doctors have been hired for the PKLI, he added. These are the revolutionary changes which the Punjab government has introduced in health and education sectors.
He said that the system of social disparity is needed to be eliminated in which ultra-rich enjoy all the facilities while the hoi polloi have to wander here and there for accessing even the basic facilities. This is the only way to stop the bloody revolution in the country by ensuring judicious division of resources and bridging of gaps between the poor and the rich. We have to learn from our mistakes and the performance has to be further improved. This way, we can change a bloody revolution into a soft revolution. It is not a Pakistan of Quaid in which the rich enjoy every facility while the have-nots have to leave this world without any treatment. If we did not improve this system then no one can stop the bloody revolution.
The Chief Minister said that we appreciate the cooperation of international agencies. However, these organizations will not always come forward for helping us. We should, therefore, generate our own resources to become a self-reliant nation. Otherwise, we cannot get rid of the begging bowl. It may be difficult but not an impossible task. I am ready to write this with my blood that World Bank and Asian Development Bank’s support cannot solve our problems. We will have to generate our resources because development cannot be ensured through a life of dependence. Pakistan was not made so that we could raise our hands before others. Country cannot face any chaos. We have to move further jointly to achieve the targets of establishment of Pakistan and to alter the course of history. For that purpose, we need to employ all our abilities, he added.
Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan is facing numerous challenges and therefore, it is needed that we should work collectively so that every person could be empowered. We shall not sit idle when all the people are not empowered. He assured to the donor agencies that resources provided by them will be honestly spent on the welfare of the masses adding their cooperation is highly appreciable.
We need to change the nation and today; we have to make a commitment that we will not sit idle till the nation is not transformed. He also inaugurated different programs of Punjab government worth billions of rupees including Chief Minister’s Stinting programme which has been started in southern Punjab with a cost of nine billion rupees to improve the nutrition of mother and child.
He also inaugurated the program of provision of supply of water and drainage in eleven districts of southern Punjab. An amount of three billion rupees will be spent on this program. He inaugurated the establishment of Punjab Public Health Agency in addition to launch of Punjab Human Capital Review-2018 and Annual Health Development Report. Provincial Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran, Chairman P&D Jehanzeb Khan and others also spoke on the occasion. The Chief Minister also distributed shields among the participants.
Provincial Ministers, Chief Secretary, Chairman P&D, Resident Coordinator of UN to Pakistan Neil Buhne, Dr. Sania Nishtar, Senior Director for Education of World Bank Jaime Saavdra Chanduvi, Country Director World Bank Patchamuthu Illangovan and senior officials of Punjab government, along with a large number of experts, were present on the occasion.