LAHORE - Speakers, at a pre-budget seminar, have suggested enhancing development budget and cutting non-developmental expenditures, citing that a drastic cut in the budget of development projects has resulted in huge unemployment last year. They underlined that investing in pro-poor development is central to achieve the goal of poverty eradication. PRS Monitoring Cell Punjab, (a joint venture of the Pakistani Government and UNDP, designed to strengthen the institutional capacities for result-based monitoring and evaluation of poverty reduction strategies) together with the Punjab Planning and Development Department organised the daylong seminar on Financing Pro-Poor Development, Punjab Development Budget 2009-10 here on Tuesday. The seminar aimed at sharing the government vision for financing pro-poor development, identifying issues and options for better use of available resources to meet public needs & demands, promoting participatory planning by involving all stakeholders and mobilising resources from development partners to fill the budgetary gap. The speakers said that not only the analytical framework of public policies needs to be underpinned more clearly by the agenda of poverty reduction and social development, but the processes of decision-making that provides inputs to the formulation and implementation of such strategies to become more engaging and citizen based. The Punjab Planning & Development Board chairman, who chaired the seminar, highlighted various interventions proposed and implemented by this government to improve the poverty situation in the province. He said that 82% of the total development resources have been allocated for Pro-Poor sectors where lion shares goes to education sector followed by infrastructure and health sectors. And 66% of it has been allocated for the rural areas where majority of the poor lives. While specifying approach of the government, he said the present government is offering special treatment to neglected areas such as south and south-west Punjab. He added that they are in transition from non-targeted programmes to more targeted programmes for the poor. Secretaries of the Planning & Development, Finance, Education, Health, and Social Welfare departments shared plans of their respective departments for pro-poor development. Acclaimed economists and social scientists Hafiz Pasha, Ijaz Nabi, Shahid Amjad Chaudhry, Ali Cheema and Sartaj Aziz shared their wisdom and knowledge to address the issue of poverty in the province. On the occasion, the participants provided concrete suggestions to ensure enabling environment required for development and to mobilising public and private resources to expand productive investments in key areas of economic and social development. Punjab P&D Sami Saeed said that the Punjab governments model of development is not exclusive for a few but inclusive of all rich and poor, men and women, urban and rural. He said that keeping in view social and economic policy, a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy is being implemented to accelerating economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability. Sami Saeed said that the strategy envisaged improving governance and devolution, investing in human capital, safety nets for the poor and the vulnerable, sustaining and broad-basing growth, reducing economic inequalities and gender gap, improved access to education, healthcare, family planning, sanitation and clean drinking water. He said that poverty and deprivation, which bread extremism and alienation, are the biggest threats to humanity, so all stakeholders should work together to tackle poverty and create a happier, more prosperous and a more peaceful society.