LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that like 2015, provision of quality education and health facilities will continue to be top priority of the government in 2016 and there will be no shortage of resources for this purpose.

He was talking to Members National and Provincial Assemblies of PML-N who met him yesterday. He said that provincial government provided funds of billions of rupees for extending modern health and education facilities to masses.

The chief minister said that development of education and health sectors on solid foundations is the priority of the government and all necessary resources are being utilized for this purpose. He said that reforms of revolutionary nature have been introduced in education and health sectors.

He said that provision of basic facilities in schools is being ensured under the reforms programme while solid measures have been taken for ensuring attendance of teachers and students. He said that youths are future of the country and a precious national asset and concrete measures taken by Punjab government in education sector for the empowerment of youth have yielded positive results.

Shahbaz Sharif further said that education is not only a weapon against terrorism, extremism and sectarianism but also the secret of progress and development. He said that funds spent on promotion of education is not expenditure but useful investment in the future of the country.

The chief minister said that setting up of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund, Daanish School System, scholarship for talented boy and girl students, educational programme of Punjab Education Foundation and the study tours of position-holders to international educational institutions are revolutionary measures of Punjab government and have yielded a positive impact on education sector.

He said that an important element of these educational programmes is that besides Punjab, students of Sindh, Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and Federal Board have also been included in these projects which is promoting national unity and brotherhood.

He said that talented children of poorest families are getting education through Punjab Educational Endowment Fund and Daanish School System. He said that more one lakh boy and girl students are studying at local and foreign educational institutions with the help of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund.

Shahbaz Sharif further said that like education, health sector is also among the top priorities of the government and maximum resources are being provided for extending quality health facilities to the masses at their doorstep.

He said that modern hospitals are being set up throughout the province while health facilities at tehsil and district headquarters hospitals and rural and basic health centers are being improved. He said that work is in progress speedily on state-of-the-art Pakistan Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute and Research Center while a modern 60-bed hospital has been inaugurated on Bedian Road.

Similarly, quality healthcare is available to the people of south Punjab at Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital Muzaffargarh.

Assembly members paid tributes to Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif over the effective measures taken for provision of basic facilities to the people of the province and said that masses are fully benefitting from the mega projects of Punjab government.

They said that Chief Minister has taken unprecedented measures for the uplift of health and education sectors and due to the policy of transparency and merit, the performance of government institutions is improving.

Those who met the Chief Minister included Members National Assembly Muhammad Junaid Anwaar Chaudhry, Rana Muhammad Ishaq, Members Provincial Assembly Amjad Ali Javed, Mian Rafique and Col. (Retd.) Ayub Gadhi. MPA Mansha Ullah Butt was also present on the occasion.

Pakistan Ordinance Factories Board Chairman Lt Gen Omar Mahmood Hayat met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Matters of mutual interest and other issues were discussed in the meeting.

The chief minister paid tributes to the glorious success and courageous role of Pak Army in the war against terrorism. He said that Pak Army has written a new history of bravery to make Pakistan a safe and peaceful country.

He said that officers and Jawans of armed forces have rendered supreme sacrifices and the whole nation is proud of its martyrs. He said that compared to 2013, Pakistan today is safer, developed, peaceful and prosperous. He said that genuine peace will be restored in the country in 2016.