LAHORE        -      Insisting that the Peshawar Metro Bus Project would be completed within estimated cost, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai has offered tendering resignation if the cost was higher than the similar project in Lahore.

Speaking at Meet the Press Program of Lahore Press Club on Wednesday, he said that Peshawar Metro would be made operational in April this year.

Referring to the claims of Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif that cost of Peshawar Metro was higher than collective cost of all such projects in Punjab, Shaukat Yousafzai said that the project would be completed with already estimated cost.

“Peshawar Metro is third generation while the one in Lahore is second generation. Despite this, the cost of Peshawar Metro will be less than Lahore Metro. I will tender resignation if the project is completed at a higher cost than the one in Lahore”, he said while challenging the former Punjab Chief Minister to prove his claims.

Referring to the protest plan of JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, senior cabinet member of PTI government in KP said that any future plan would meet the same fate like the previous ones.

“Previously, both the PPP and the PML-N were part of Plan A, B and C. Now Maulana is planning to come out without support of opposition parties”, he said, adding, he (Maulana) would have to face public wrath if tried to come out on roads.

Referring to merger of FATA in the KP, he said that credit of holding free, fair and transparent elections goes to the PTI. He said that Sehat Insaf Cards had been distributed throughout recently merged FATA. He expressed hope that the entire province would be covered soon. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced Rs100 billion for uplift of FATA. Projects worth Rs85 billion had been identified, he said, adding, the development work would start soon.

Accepting inflation, he said that the government was heading towards solving problems of the masses. He said that the PTI government has so far returned 11 billion dollar borrowed by the previous regime. He said that the government was determined to clear all loans at the earliest.  He said that the opposition made fun of the ruling party when it introduced projects of public interest like shelter homes and langarkhanas.

Holding the previous regime responsible for the present mess, he said that PML-N took hefty loans to check exchange rate of rupee against dollar. He said that trade deficit increased considerably during the PML-N regime. He also accused the previous regime of putting unprecedented burden on exchequer and the masses by signing unwise agreements and launching costly energy projects. He said that cost of PM Imran Khan’s visit to the US was far less than those of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari that showed his concerns about judicious use of public money.

Shaukat Yousafzai said that the KP constructed Sawat Motorway from own resources unlike the previous regime when the money was spent by the federal government. He said that work on DI Khan Motorway would be started soon. He said that the KP has initiated many projects which had not been highlighted in the media. He said that the KP has enormous tourism potential that needed to be tapped.

“PM is focusing on regional and religious tourism. There is enormous tourism potential in Takhatbhai alone that has never been explored in the past”, he said, adding, the present regime was taking measures to promote tourism.