LAHORE - The Punjab government has decided to cut its non-development expenditure for the next eight months as part of its austerity drive. It has also decided not to burden the common man in the coming budget.

These decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Monday. Proposals regarding eight months budget for the current fiscal year, development programme and increase in resources came under discussion. The meeting decided to cut the non-development expenditure in the province.

Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that realistic targets will be fixed to increase the resources and people will be given more facilities by ensuring financial discipline in government departments.

The chief minister said that a culture of austerity, simplicity and savings will be introduced at every level and resources will be provided to arrange basic facilities for the people by decreasing unnecessary expenditures. The common man will not be burdened by the government, he assured.

The chief minister directed that solid steps should be taken to provide necessary relief to the general public in budget and no such steps should be taken which could affect the masses. The culture of change should be visible in our first budget and deprived areas will be given preference in the development programs, he added. Resources will also be allocated for the developed areas. More attention will be given to provide basic necessities of life to the people of the province. Instead of relying on slogans, the budget will depict the practical steps. He said that development and prosperity of southern Punjab is included in the manifesto of PTI and our development program will redress the deprivations of southern Punjab.

Senor Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said that revenue will have to be increased along with bringing reasonable decrease in government expenditures. The traditional procedure of increasing the resources will have to be avoided and for that purpose, the departments are needed to work on new and innovative ideas, he said. Provincial minister Hashim Jawan Bakht said that first budget of the PTI government will depict realistic figures. On the occasion, the chief minister was also given briefing about the recommendations relating to budget, annual development program and increase in resources.

Senior minister Abdul Aleemkhan, provincial ministers including HashimJawanBakht, MohsinLeghari, Malik Anwar, Hafiz Mumtaz Ahmed, AnsarMajeed, Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan Khichi, chief secretary, chairman P&D, SMBR, secretaries of concerned departments and senior officers attended the meeting.

PTI MNAs CALL ON PUNJAB CM

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that government is fully aware of problems of people and every step will be taken for their welfare. “Change will be visible in hundred days under the agenda of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The assembly members are my strength. Their respect is my honour and my doors are always open for them,” he said.

He stated this while talking to various members of National Assembly who called on him at his office. During the meeting, matters relating to the solution of problems of the people, development programmes and welfare projects came under discussion. The chief minister said that PTI has emerged as the strong voice of the people and now living conditions of the general public will improve instead of limiting it to the imperious elite. He regretted that past government bankrupted the provincial economy and added that incumbent government is rectifying the losses occurred due to wrong policies of the previous tenure. He said that every sort of decisions will be taken to improve the lot of the people and only the PTI will bring real change in the country as Imran Khan is trusted by the whole nation and has the vision of a genuine leader of the people, concluded the chief minister. Also, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has condoled the death of Saeed Anwar, father- in- law of Qaiser Khokhar, a senior reporter of City42. In his condolence message, the chief minister has prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear the loss with equanimity.