LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that the provincial government has set a target of eight percent growth rate during the next four years.
He was presiding over a high-level meeting about the Annual Development Programme for the fiscal year 2014-15. The Planning & Development chairman gave a detailed briefing regarding salient features of the ADP- 2014-15. Provincial ministers, special assistants, chief secretary, provincial secretaries and other officials concerned also attended the meeting.  The CM said that a strategy has been evolved to create one million new job opportunities annually and impart skills to 20,000 youth during four years. He said maximum resources would be allocated in budget for the uplift of the backward areas. He said that revolutionary measures are being taken to improve tax collection system. He said that metro bus projects would be started in Multan and Faisalabad during the financial year 2014-15. He said that government would focus the uplift of South Punjab and more funds have been allocated in this regard. Shahbaz said the Punjab government would set up coal and solar power projects with its own resources and planning has been made for this purpose. He said the government is working speedily on setting up a solar power project of 1000 MW in Bahawalpur with its own resources while coal power plants would also be established in Rahim Yar Khan and Muzaffargarh. He said that a comprehensive programme has been evolved for energy conservation.  The CM said that IT labs would also be set up in middle schools while laptops would be distributed among talented students of matric class in the new financial year. He said that digital libraries will be set up throughout the province and special attention is being paid to uplift the education, health and energy sectors. He said that more resources would be provided for raising the living standard of the masses.
Shahbaz said that priorities are being set in a realistic manner to strengthen the country’s economy, so that targets of rapid development could be achieved and the benefits of development projects could reach the masses. He said there is a need to pay attention to value addition for the uplift of livestock, dairy development and other important sectors.
The CM said that strenuous efforts would have to be made to achieve goals of the four years’ growth plan, and the departments and institutions associated with social sectors would have to be run in a professional manner for this purpose.
Meanwhile, Shahbaz strongly condemned the attack on security forces on Fateh Jang Road and sought a report from the Punjab IGP. He expressed grief over the martyrdom of two lieutenant colonels and others, and sympathised with the bereaved families. He also prayed for early recovery of the injured security officials.