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Thursday December 02, 2021

Punjab makes record of development budget use in 10 years

July 13, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday appreciated the objectives of the Punjab Development Programme and directed continuous monitoring of these projects, saying officers of all districts and related agencies will be responsible for timely completion of projects.

The prime minister directed that not only modern scientific methods should be used for monitoring the completion of projects, but also a system of continuous monitoring through third parties should be devised to keep them informed in this regard.

He also emphasised that special attention should be paid to the district development package to ensure the provision of facilities to the people, and that playgrounds should be built for the youth in each district to provide them with opportunities for healthy activities.

In this connection, he chaired a meeting on Punjab Development Package, which was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Finance Minister Hashim Javan Bakht, Adviser to CM Dr Salman Shah, Special Assistant to CM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, chief secretary and other senior officials. Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib was also present.

Usman Buzdar informed that the budget for the financial year 22-2021 has been increased by 66 percent for development projects, while utilisation rate of last year's budget was 97 percent which is a record in the last ten years. He said a total of 5,889 schemes were completed last year.

The secretary Planning Board Punjab informed the meeting that the budget targets for this year were formulated keeping in view the Punjab Growth Strategy 2023: Special focus was placed on economic growth, inclusive and equitable development, agricultural development, human development, sustainable development goals, district development package, environmental protection and public-private partnership.

The total volume of development budget, he noted, this year is Rs560 billion which includes 7,116 projects.

These include 90 percent new schemes. The meeting was informed that funds have been allocated for various sectors including Rs54 billion for education, Rs99 billion for health, Rs100 billion for district development package, Rs36.5 billion for agriculture, Rs11.3 billion for social security, Rs12.2 billion for industry and Rs5 billion allocated for IT sector. The development budget is estimated to create 350,000 jobs.

The meeting was informed that special attention has been paid to the development of agriculture and industry in terms of development matters and their budget has been increased almost three hundred times.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting on monsoon tree plantation that was attended by Special Assistant for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, while Usman Buzdar, Punjab Minister for Forests Muhammad Sabteen Khan, Special Assistant to CM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, chief secretary and other officials were present on the video link. Briefing was given to the prime minister on the objectives and strategy of Punjab regarding monsoon tree plantation. The meeting was informed that Punjab would play a leading role in the recent monsoon tree plantation.

The meeting was informed that only 10 million saplings were planted in the previous government from 2016 to 2018, but crores of saplings and trees have been planted in the present government so far.

Imran Khan said that tree plantation is very important for the protection of the environment. He said environmental protection is one of the top priorities of the present government. He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has set an example to follow with the Billion Tree Tsunami.

The prime minister directed that modern methods should be used not only for tree plantation but also for monitoring and results of the campaign. He said attention must be paid to ensure full participation of Tiger Force, students, civil society and government and non-government departments in the tree plantation drive.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan while describing mausoleums across the country as historical heritage said the rehabilitation and preservation of these places was imperative for the promotion of religious tourism.

The prime minister expressed these views while presiding over a meeting about the comprehensive development and management project of the mausoleum of Hazrat Data Ganj Bukhsh (RA) and the preservation, rehabilitation and beautification of Lahore’s historic Badshahi Mosque and other mausoleums in Punjab.