LAHORE - Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that target of eight per cent growth rate in the next four years has been fixed in the province. He said that besides improving living standard of the masses through speedy development and comprehensive reforms, more resources will be provided for the development of less-developed areas. He said that special attention will be paid to skill development and 20 lakh youth will be made skillful during the next four years. He said that 50 per cent share under Skill Development Programme will be fixed for women so that they could also play a practical role for the progress and prosperity of the country.The Chief Minister said this while presiding over a meeting to review Annual Development Programme of Punjab for 2014-15.Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that the Punjab government is implementing various programmes for the development of the province and improvement of the living standard of the masses. He said that in order to strengthen provincial economy, priorities are being set on realistic basis under the ADP of the fiscal year 2014-15 so that targets of expeditious development could be achieved. He said that proper and transparent utilisation of funds will be ensured for strengthening the economic foundations of the province. He said that more resources will be allocated for the uplift of less-developed areas. The Chief Minister directed that provincial departments should set their short-term and long-term targets and an effective mechanism be adopted for their achievement so that better services could be provided to the citizens. He said that more than 60 per cent population of the province comprises youth and skill development programme is continuing speedily to enable them stand on their own feet. He said that 20 lakh youth will be made skillful during next four years to make them self-reliant while 50 per cent share will be allocated for women under Skill Development Programme. For the purpose of effective implementation of Skill Development Programme and achievement of the targets, the Chief Minister set up a high level committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary Energy and directed the committee to work on war footing for skill development. The Committee will submit its recommendations at the earliest. Shahbaz Sharif stressed the need for paying due attention to value addition for the progress of livestock, dairy development and other important sectors. He said that there is a need to work hard for achieving the desired results of the four years growth plan besides running the departments associated with social sectors in a professional manner. The Chief Minister directed that resources of the province will be increased for providing maximum funds for public welfare. He said that schemes aimed at betterment of the masses will be completed expeditiously and the performance of all departments will be monitored on regular basis. Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif assured Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif every help and cooperation in the generation of electricity in Punjab. Khawaja Muhammad Asif who especially attended a high-level meeting held to review the projects in energy sectors in Punjab here on Monday highly appreciated the energy vision and policy of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and said that every scheme for the purpose of the generating electricity is upto the mark and his Ministry will extend full help to the Punjab government whenever and wherever it was would be required. The Minister particularly lauded the solar energy project being set up in Bahawalpur.While speaking on the occasion Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that coping with energy crisis is essential for accelerating trade and industrial activities and resolving the problems of poverty and unemployment. He said that the government, is working round the clock to overcome shortage of electricity which a mission to rid the people of loadshedding at the earliest.He said that agreements signed with local and foreign power companies are being implemented speedily. He said that every moment of the nation is precious and no delay will be tolerated in the execution of energy projects. He said that power projects of 1000 mw will be set up at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur while a solar project of 100 megawatts will be completed by December this year. He said that the Punjab government has taken a lead by laying foundation stone of the first solar project in the country while work is also being carried out speedily on a number of coal-based power generation projects with the cooperation of China. The Chief Minister said that foundation stone of two power plants of 660 megawatts to be operated with coal will be laid in Sahiwal during the current month while work is in progress round the clock on Nandipur Power Project which will be inaugurated by the end of the current month. The Chief Minister directed the concerned departments to complete the process of upgradation of grid and transmission lines side by side with the execution of power projects so that there should not be any hurdle in the supply of electricity to the national grid. He directed that work should be undertaken under a comprehensive mechanism for the timely completion of power projects and federal and provincial departments should work in a coordinated manner for the expeditious completion of energy projects.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 13-May-2014 here.