LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that the elements who indulged in loot and corruption and got huge loans written off need to be brought to justice and accountability as they are the real culprits who drove the country to the verge of bankruptcy.

The chief minister said this while addressing a ceremony at the distribution of 50,000 cabs among unemployed youth under Self-Employment Scheme at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, yesterday.

The chief minister said being humans, there can be mistakes, however, every penny of public money is being spent honestly on welfare of the masses. He said that some sections of media and politicians are giving wrong information about Orange Line Metro Train project and one politician has made allegations of misappropriation of billions of rupees in this public welfare project.

He said that if that politician has any evidence he should go to the court and prove the charges. Shehbaz Sharif said that allegations and lies cannot make the nation strong. He said that is the responsibility of leaders to tell the truth instead of misguiding the masses. He said that the politician making allegation of expenditure of Rs 43 crore on a house in Murree should have fear of the God.

He said that this amount is not being spent on any private residence but on Governor House. He said that it is the time for unity and to serve the country. He said that media has the right to criticise but it should also appreciate good work. He said that corruption and plunder should be brought to the notice but public welfare work should be appreciated for promoting awareness in the people.

Shehbaz Sharif lauded the performance of the institutions which recovered crore of rupees from the house of the secretary of a province. He said that corruption should be curbed but baseless allegations promote misunderstandings and confusion. He said that present government has saved 215 billion rupees in development projects.

He said that he is ready to face accountability if any political leader, journalist, analyst, judge or police officer proves him wrong. The CM said culture of merit and transparency has been promoted in Punjab and credit for this goes to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the PML-N government.

Shebbaz Sharif said the provincial government has achieved another milestone by distributing 50,000 vehicles on merit and transparency among unemployed youth under Self-Employment Scheme worth Rs 31 billion. He said that this scheme has provided livelihood to three lakh persons. He said that recovery rate on vehicles is about hundred percent.

He said that while those great Pakistanis who earn their living through hard work and honesty repay their loans but those who have assets of billions of rupees, offshore companies, palaces and factories get their loans waived off. He said that it is a grave injustice to the nation.

Provincial Minister for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha, Member Provincial Assembly Sheikh Alauddin, Parliamentary Secretary on Transport Nawaz Chauhan, MPA, Managing Director Pak-Suzuki Motor Company, Chief Secretary, recipients of the vehicles, columnists and intellectuals attended the ceremony. 

The chief minister said that culture of merit and transparency has been promoted in Punjab and credit for this goes to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Muslim League-N government.

He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, work is being carried out on public welfare projects in the country and Punjab round the clock. He said that a total of 2.5 billion rupees were saved in self employment scheme.

 He said that there has been no period in the 69 years’ history of the country when billions of rupees were saved. He said that saving of 215 billion rupees in development projects is an achievement of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, PML-N government and the whole nation. He said that for the purpose of progress of the country, welfare programmes should be continued for the betterment of the deprived segments of the society. He said that Pakistan will be made a great country through honesty, trust and hard work.

Sheik Alauddin MPA said that Self-Employment Scheme is a big step toward serving the people. He said that due to the vision and hard work of Shehbaz Sharif, three lakhs persons have been given direct employment. He said that Pak Suzuki Company has given a gift of motorcycles worth two crore rupees to Punjab government on the completion of the scheme.

Bank of Punjab President Naeemud Din Khan said that service to the people is the vision of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and it is reflected in this scheme.

Pak Suzuki Company Managing Director said that Punjab government and Bank of Punjab have taken a big step by launching Self-Employment Scheme for the jobless youth and the company is to proud to work with Punjab government. He also assured full cooperation to Punjab government for such schemes in future as well.