LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has thanked Almighty Allah for the completion of the 2nd year of PTI’s government in Punjab. 

Addressing a ceremony held at 90-SQA on Wednesday with regard to Punjab government’s two years performance, Usman Buzdar said that the PTI government had started taking solid steps to fulfill the promises made with the people. “Some projects are completed while work is in progress on others speedily.  The political and geographical importance of Punjab province is established and the level of public expectations is very high. 

People have seen a genuine public government after a lapse of many years. The PTI government is working hard to materialise their dreams”, he observed. 

The CM stated that he was surprised to know at the outset that meetings of the Board of Governors of some departments were not held even after the passing of years. “Despite difficult challenges, we presented a progressive and pro-business budget and it was not possible to present a better budget than it in these circumstances”, he said. 

He said taxes were enhanced in the previous budgets every year but the incumbent government abolished taxes in a new financial year and also reduced their ratio. “We identified our financial way forward. Trade and industry and health sectors are affected due to corona and Rs106 billion were allocated for it in the new financial year. 

This includes Rs56 billion tax relief and direct expenditures worth Rs50 billion. Despite difficult circumstances, an additional Rs5 billion were provided for development projects”, he said.  

Buzdar says govt committed to set up a university in every district while seven universities being established

He said the share of Local Governments had been enhanced to 10 per cent and frozen Local Government funds have also been restored.  The school education budget has been increased to Rs382 billion.  The government is committed to set up a university in every district and seven universities are being set up. 

He said the government is giving full attention to human resource development and it is also committed to creating job opportunities by promoting the construction industry. 

Financial transparency and merit in administrative matters is our target and Ehsaas Kafalat Programe is a unique initiative to alleviate poverty.  He said that establishment of the Southern Punjab Secretariat was part of PTI manifesto and the promise has been fulfilled. 

Additional Chief Secretary and Additional IG have been appointed besides posting secretaries for departments and 33 per cent development funds have been allocated for Southern Punjab.  He said that Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project was the largest mega project in the country and its utility cannot be denied. 

This project will economically boost Pakistan. He said that work had been started on 13 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the federal government has issued notification for six SEZs. 

Notification of 7 zones will be issued soon and the historic package has been given for the construction industry’s development. Meanwhile, changes have been introduced in LDA by-laws and construction of high-rise buildings has been allowed. He said that work is in progress on the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme and a clean water project is being started with two billion rupees under Aab Pak Authority. 

He said ease of doing business had been arranged for investors while One Window Cell and E-khidmat Centres have been established. 

He said Rs20 billion had been earmarked for soft loans under PSIC. The government is providing training to one lac students every year under TEVTA and around 2,200 kilometre roads are constructed in villages under Naya Pakistan Manzalain Asaan Programme. 

This scheme will be continued this year and development projects will be formulated in consultation with public representatives after the restoration of Local Governments’ funds. 

He said that the new Local Government Act had been approved and promulgated. Now Local Government heads will be elected directly. 

The CM stated that small farmers were being given loans through e-credit scheme and work is continued to introduce new seeds for more productivity. Rs1.25 billion were allocated to overcome locust attack which was a big threat and it was eliminated over an area of more than 8 lac hectares.  The government has launched construction of Jalalpur and Greater Thal Canal systems to irrigate around 8 lac acre land. 

The study is being conducted for the construction of 4 small dams in Koh-e-Suleman area and upgradation of Khanki Barrage, Jinnah Barrage, Punjnad and other barrages have been completed. 

Meanwhile, work on upgradation of Upper Jhelum Canal and DG Khan Canal is in progress which would revolutionarise the irrigation system. 

He said that 43 lac tons wheat has been purchased and 99 per cent payments were made to sugarcane farmers.

The cabinet has approved amendments in the Sugarcane Act and mills will be fined up to Rs 5 million for non-payment to farmers. Sehat Insaf Card Scheme has been introduced in all the districts which will benefit 70 lac families and 3.5 crore needy people. 

He said that 30 thousand merit-based recruitments have been made in the health sector and 6 new hospitals comprising 3500 beds are being constructed in different districts. 

The government has enhanced 12,000 beds in hospitals and the construction and expansion of different hospitals are in progress in different districts. 

Meanwhile, the first bone marrow transplant centre is being set up in Bahawalpur and the 600-bed hospital is being set up in Lahore. 

Wazirabad Institute of Cardiology has been completed and Haseeb Shaheed Hospital has been completed in Faisalabad. Special allowance has been approved for engineers along with doctors and a new service structure is being designed for nurses. The corona test facility has been increased to 17 thousand daily and a historic decision has been made to make Urdu as a medium of instruction in primary level and teaching of English as a subject. The e-transfer policy for teachers has yielded positive results and Insaf Afternoon Schools have been set up in 22 districts.  He said that 1,272 schools have been upgraded without spending a penny.  Seven universities are being set up and 4,500 CTIs’ recruitments have been completed. 

New teachers will be recruited on the pattern of CTIs and 130 meetings of the cabinet and cabinet standing committees have been held and decisions were made on 1929 agenda items.

He said that the Punjab Assembly during its two year tenure has approved 58 bills of public welfare and issued 25 new Ordinances. 

Punjab Assembly passed 38 basic laws. He said that Punjab Assembly has made more legislation as compared to other provincial assemblies. 

10,000 new recruitments in Punjab police have been approved. 550 new vehicles have been purchased for the police department. 45 new police stations are being constructed whereas land for 101 police stations has been identified. 

Cabinet has approved executive allowance for the police department. Scope of model police stations are being extended. Similarly, under Rescue 1122, scope of motorcycle ambulance service will be extended to all districts of the province. Services of Rescue 1122 are being taken at tehsil level. 

 

 

He said that it was the PTI government which realised and had given a service structure for the employees of Rescue 1122 after 15 years. “92 shelter homes have been constructed in all major cities of the province including Lahore. 

Panahgah Authority will be established, he added. 10 more shelter homes will be established in Lahore in the rental buildings. 137 day care centres have been established for facilitating the working women throughout the province” Usman Buzdar said that revolutionary measures had been taken for bringing reforms in jail sector. 

He said that he personally visited 8 jails of different cities and inspected the condition of the prisoners. 

The Punjab government has paid fines of 28 crore rupees and released 1000 prisoners. He said that reforms are being introduced in the 167 years old jail manual. 

Prisoners will get relief after implementing parole and probation. Work is being carried out on different 1300 under construction developmental projects. 

Usman Buzdar further stated that he made visits to Balochistan for promoting inter-provincial harmony and announced developmental projects worth billions of rupees in Turbat, Taftaan and Makraan. 

He said a hospital will also be set up in Turbat. 

He said that work was being carried out on the projects of alternative energy sources to get rid of the expensive electricity and energy crisis. 

Work on off-grid solutions in Cholistan and Thal is under process. Project of clean and green Pakistan is being carried out successfully. 

He said that a 20-kg flour bag is being sold at the rate of Rs 860 in Punjab.

He said the scope of double decker buses will be extended for promoting tourism in the province.

Punjab Public Private Partnership Authority has been established and 28 development projects of worth Rs 144 billion have been approved. 

A time bar of three to four months will be fixed for starting PPP projects. Foundation stone of construction of Rawalpindi Ring Road, Nullah Lai Expressway, SL-III Ring Road, Sheikhupura-Gujranwala Road will soon be laid. 

He said the Land Record System was being made easier. 20 mobile vans have been purchased. Number of Land Record Centres was also being increased. 

He said that the first underground water tank had been constructed to store rainwater in Lahore. Underground water sewage system will be extended gradually in divisions and later at district level. 

Buzdar said Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project will be started by October. 

He said that the PTI government did not stop work on this project. Subsidy has to be given on this project. He said that 13 national parks have been established in Punjab. 

The Solid Waste Management Authority has been established in Dera Ghazi Khan as well. Soon this authority will be made active in other divisions as well. 

He said that best cleanliness arrangements were made on Eid-ul-Azha. Reforms are being introduced for making cooperative Bank more effective for which a chairman has been appointed. 

He said that a comprehensive plan has been evolved by the Auqaf Department for the renovation of shrines of religious personalities throughout the province. 

He said that state land worth billions of rupees got vacated from the qabza mafia. He said that the government wants universal coverage of Sehat Insaf Card in Punjab like KPK. 

On the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Punjab government wants to provide a Sehat Insaf Card to every citizen of Punjab under phase wise programme. 

Buzdar also answered the questions of senior columnists, journalists and anchorpersons. 

In response to a question, Usman Buzdar said that prices of essential commodities are far less than other provinces and most of the edibles are available at the government fixed price. 

He said that he personally inspected the prices of essential items on a regular basis and issued instructions. Price Control Authority is being established to cope with price-hiking in Punjab on a permanent basis. 

In response to another question, he replied that boarding and lodging facilities to thousands of people have been provided on a daily basis and almonries are being set up besides shelter homes. 

New courses of technical vocational training have been introduced for generating job opportunities in the province. 

Poor people are a centre point of our policies. 

He said the PTI government was struggling for their welfare and betterment. He said that creating ease in the lives of common man is an obligation and responsibility of PTI government. 

Answering another question, Usman Buzdar said that he personally came into the field for solving the problems of Lahore. He said I knew every problem of Lahore. 

He said that a 57 point agenda will be implemented for solving civic problems. He said that 2200 wardens are being recruited in Lahore.

He said there was a need to set the traffic system on the right pattern. 

He said that a traffic management system harmonized with latest demands would be introduced in Lahore. 

A comprehensive campaign will be run for eradicating the encroachments from the city. Action will be taken against those who sell birds after catching them. 

He said Ravi River Urban Development Project will prove to be a game changer. Trees would be planted in Lahore on a larger scale. 

Work on an urban forest station in the city had been started. Replying to another question, Usman Buzdar said that he appeared before NAB when he received notice and he was ready to appear before NAB once again if someone showed him a copy of the second notice. 

Provincial Minister for Finance Hashim Jawan Bakht gave a detailed review of two years performance of Punjab government. Provincial Minister for Information Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan expressed views on the major success of the Punjab government. 

Provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, Chief Secretary, IG Police, secretaries and other rank officers were also present on this occasion.