LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the basic agenda of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is to serve the masses and bring about improvement in the quality of their lives.

He said the Punjab government had diverted the direction of its resources towards the poor and development projects worth billions of rupees had been expeditiously completed throughout the province, greatly benefitting the people.

Shahbaz said if the people provided an opportunity to serve them during the upcoming general elections, the PML-N would change the destiny of the nation under the dynamic leadership of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and would rid the country of darkness by transforming it into an economic power.

The chief minister was talking to parliamentarians belonging to various districts. He said the PML-N government was implementing a comprehensive programme of promotion of economic and social activities in the province, while it had adopted a strategy for elimination of poverty and unemployment.

“The self-employment scheme has been initiated to provide jobs to the youth. Interest-free loans are being provided to enable them to start their own businesses. The yellow cab scheme has been initiated to enable the educated youth to stand on their own feet, while the Punjab Skills Development Programme has been initiated in South Punjab, through which the youth is being imparted skills in different technical fields. This programme is also being expanded throughout the province, so that skilled workforce can be generated in accordance with the needs of the market,” he elaborated.

Shahbaz said the only way of achieving expeditious development was to impart the latest knowledge to the youth, since all developed nations have achieved the destination of progress and prosperity by adopting modern knowledge.

He further said concrete steps for promotion of modern knowledge had been taken by the Punjab government in view of extreme importance of science and technology. “As many as 125,000 laptops have been distributed among brilliant students, while the programme of laptops distribution would also continue during the current fiscal year,” he added.

He said thousands of students from Rahim Yar Khan to Attock were being imparted modern knowledge through IT labs, established in more than 4,000 schools of the province at a cost of Rs5 billion.

“The setting up of Daanish schools in less developed areas is a revolutionary step of the Punjab government, thereby enabling the children of the poor to get quality education. The facility of boarding and lodging, as well as quality education, is being provided to the poor in these educational institutions,” he maintained.

He hoped that, with Daanish schools, a new era of development and prosperity would commence in backward areas of the province, while the students, getting education from these educational institutions, would play their effective role in progress and uplift of the country.

Shahbaz said the Punjab Education Endowment Fund was ray of hope for those students who left their education because of poverty. “Through this fund, as many as 30,000 brilliant students are being imparted education and it would soon be expanded to 50,000 students.