LAHORE - Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht on Wednesday directed the authorities concerned to first complete under-construction roads after categorization of new and old projects under Rural Access Road Programme.

Chairing a meeting of Steering Committee constituted by Punjab Chief Minister for implementation of the programme here, the Provincial Minister added that social and economic factors must also be kept in view while constructing the link roads. As per availability of land, he said, widening of roads could be considered for villages having greater traffic load.

Hashim Jawan said that PTI’s Rural Access Road Programme did not confined only to facilitate the farmers to have an easy access to markets but to also ensure smooth traveling among populated areas as well as provide other facilities to the people.

Provincial Finance Minister said that revenue generation strategy was also inevitable to make these projects viable economically so that repair and maintenance of these roads could not become difficult in future, and this task would continue in accordance with the set mechanism.

Financial framework of developmental projects was as important as their operational framework and PTI government wanted to put in place a coordinated and comprehensive development strategy that would also prove beneficial for its successors as well, he said and asserted, “Apart from governance, our motto is also to streamline the administrative affairs.”

On this occasion, Punjab Communication Minister Sardar Asif Nakai stressed the need for determining the time period for repair works to ensure durability and long life of roads.

Punjab Communication and Works Department’s Secretary Shehryar Sultan briefed the steering committee about the salient features, cost estimates and allocated budget of the programme. He said that Punjab Chief Minister had approved the Rural Access Road Programme worth Rs 15 billion, and a grant of Rs 5 billion had been allocated in the current fiscal year.

Participants of the meeting also gave suggestions regarding proposed method for allocation of budget to districts under the programme, width of roads and their repair work.

Provincial Finance Minister also directed the Local Government Department, and Communication and Works Department to ensure monitoring during implementation of every phase of the programme so that immediate remedial measures could be taken against any complaint in this regard.