LAHORE - The Punjab government seems to have made the new budget keeping in view the possibility of snap polls. Out of total Rs 550 billion development budget, a hefty amount of Rs 203.73 billion has been allocated for eight major initiatives whose execution could be instrumental in winning the next elections.

The government has set aside Rs 50 billion for its Khadim-e-Punjab Kisan Package to please the farmers’ community. Besides provision of subsidies to farmers on pesticides and fertilizers, the government also intends to spend billions on modernization of infrastructure of irrigation system.

Also, a sum of Rs.27 billion has been allocated for Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Roads Programme. The Programme has been designed to improve and modernize road network in rural areas to facilitate transportation of agriculture produce from farm to market. It is believed that this will not only help in better farming activities but also helpful in stimulating rural economy.

Khadim-e-Punjab School Strengthening Programme will get Rs.50 billion. This amount will be spent on construction of 10,000 new class rooms in schools, reconstruction of dilapidated school buildings and on provision of missing facilities in schools. This package will also include establishment of 46 colleges and Lahore Knowledge Park including IT & Engineering University Lahore.

Another huge allocation of Rs.30 billion has been made in the new budget for provision of clean drinking water under Khadlim-e-Punjab Saaf Pani Programme, one of the basic requirements of a healthy hygienic living. It includes rehabilitation of urban and rural water supply and sewerage system.  A sum of Rs 14 billion has been spearheaded for ‘Good Governance Initiatives & Information Technology while Rs. 11.13 billion have been specified for Safe City Project to be initiated in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Multan, Faisalabad and Bahawalpur.

The government will spend Rs.12.6 billion to modernise industrial infrastructure in order to attract private investment. An allocation of Rs.9 billion has been made for investment in the energy sector to overcome power shortages in the province and stimulate industrial growth.