LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar, at a meeting on Saturday, discussed matters of mutual interest, ongoing development projects in the province and the welfare steps announced in the new financial year budget. The governor congratulated the chief minister for presenting a balanced, poor-friendly and the best budget for the development and prosperity of the people of the province. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said the Punjab government had presented the best budget in the history of the province, which was a coordinated economic document for the welfare of the people of the province. He said a comprehensive and an effective programme had been evolved for making the Punjab a safe, prosperous, educated, economically stable, industrially and agriculturally developed province. He said the target of increasing growth rate up to eight percent in the province had been fixed during the next four years. The chief minister said modern technical education would be provided to 2 million people during the next four years. He said the biggest development package of the history had been announced in the budget for 31 percent population of South Punjab. He said that 36 percent of the total budget had been allocated for South Punjab, which was more than the ratio of its population. Shahbaz Sharif said Rs 119 billion had been allocated for the development, prosperity and welfare of the people of South Punjab in the next year’s financial budget whereas more than Rs 260 billion would be spent on the completion of development projects in that part of the province. He said Tayyip Erdogan Trust Hospital would be made the most modern 500-bed teaching hospital in Muzaffargarh. He asserted power generation projects would be completed with a huge amount of Rs 31 billion. The chief minister said averred 100MW electricity would be produced from Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur at the end of the current year whereas an agreement had been made with a consortium of Chinese companies to set up coal-based power plant in Sahiwal whose foundation stone had already been laid. He said coal-based power plants would also be set up in other cities of the Punjab. Shahbaz Sharif said that tax rate had been increased on the elite class in the new budget whereas revolutionary steps had been announced for the welfare of the common man. No doubt, this budget would prove to be an important milestone to improve the living standard of deprived segments of the society, prosperity of backward areas and rapid development of the Punjab, he added. Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Governor Ch M Sarwar said Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif had won the hearts of 100 million people of the province by presenting an excellent and people-friendly budget. He also lauded the steps taken by Shahbaz Sharif for the development and welfare of the people of South Punjab. He remarked the chief minister and his team had worked very hard for preparing the budget. No doubt, this budget would play a key role in the development and prosperity of the people of the province, he added.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 15-Jun-2014 here.