LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Punjab will be made a model province and PML-N government will set new records of public service during its current tenure.

Talking to the parliamentarians from various districts here Sunday, the chief minister said that Punjab government was implementing a comprehensive programme for the welfare of the people.

Shahbaz told legislators that government had allocated billions of rupees in the current financial year for the welfare of the people and provision of relief to the citizens and solid measures were being taken for the development of education, health, infrastructure, energy and other sectors.

The CM stressed upon parliamentarians to maintain a close contact with the masses and spare no effort for the solution of their problems. Assembly members informed the chief minister about the pace of developmental activities in their respective constituencies.

Meanwhile, talking to a delegation of Pakistan Muslim League-N Youth Wing here Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that economic situation in the country was improving due to solid economic policies of the PML-N as local and foreign investors were showing interest in investment in different sectors in Pakistan. He said promotion of investment was of vital importance for generation of job opportunities to overcome poverty, unemployment and extremism.

He said solid strategy had been adopted for the promotion of investment in the country and all facilities were being provided to the investors under one roof. He said due to granting of the status of GSP Plus, Pakistani products will have access to European markets without export duty and the exports of the country would substantially increase while economic and trade relations with European countries would further strengthen. He said Pakistan was lucky in the sense that a major portion of its population comprised youth who were a precious national asset and the goal of national progress and prosperity could be achieved through their empowerment.

The chief minister said that glorious future for the country could be achieved by imparting modern education to the young generation. He said the federal government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had initiated youth loan scheme for the progress of the youth and their empowerment. He said it was a commendable programme of federal government which would leave a far-reaching impact on the progress of the country. He said soft-term loans were being provided to the youth under youth loan scheme with which they could not only set up their own business and support their families but also play an effective role for the development and progress of the country. He said Punjab government had also evolved several programmes for the welfare and development of the youth. Shahbaz said soft term loans had been provided to the youth under self employment scheme while decision had also been taken for establishing Punjab Rozgar Bank.

The chief minister further said that progress of provision of scholarships to the talented boy and girl students facing economic problems was continuing thorough Punjab Educational Endowment Fund and more than 50,000 boys and girls were benefiting from this welfare programme. He said tens of thousands of poor but talented students would benefit from the educational fund in future. The chief minister said Besides Punjab, students of Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Fata had also been included in this programme due to which the contacts between federating units were increasing and national unity was being promoted. He said the youths of the whole country were included in the programme for their encouragement.

Shahbaz further said that a revolutionary Punjab Youth Internship Programme of the training of 20,000 youth in private industrial and corporate institutions had been evolved who would also be given a monthly stipend of 12,000 rupees during the training period. He said provision of funds for the empowerment of the youth was not expenditure but investment and keeping in view this fact, Punjab government had distributed laptops worth Rs.8.5 billion among the youth purely on merit during the last five years while IT Labs had been established in 4,500 high schools of the province.

He said that these programmes of Punjab government were promoting awareness in the youth about the changing world situation and latest trends. He said these schemes were yielding positive results and a revolution had been brought about in IT sector. The chief minister further said that future of Pakistan was linked with information technology and the target of development could not be achieved without promotion of IT. Shahbaz said government had taken solid measures for promotion of the information technology and the first IT University of the country had been established at Arfa Karim Software Technology Park where more than 300 boys and girls were studying.

He said the new campus of the university would soon be established where thousands of students would acquire latest education in various fields. The delegation of students appreciated the initiatives taken by Punjab government for empowering the youth and providing them latest education and said that these programmes would help the students play their due role in national progress and development.