LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that benefits of Rs5 billion Ramazan package should reach the people at any cost.

In a statement yesterday, the CM directed the elected representatives, administration and price control committees in the province to play an active role in this regard.

Issuing instructions for the provision of essential items including fruits and vegetables on reasonable rates also in open market and bazaars, Shehbaz Sharif said that abundant supply of quality edible items should be ensured in open market and a crackdown be launched against profiteers.

He added that effective steps should be taken for stabilising prices of daily use items in open market and bazaars. The Chief Minister ordered indiscriminate action against those involved in overcharging and said that those looting citizens in the name of profit deserve no leniency.

He further urged the price control committees to play an active role for stabilising prices of essential edibles.

Separately, CM Shehbaz Sharif said that the Punjab budget for the fiscal year 2016-17 is a roadmap of durable development and prosperity of the people of the province.

Like the past, he added, the Punjab government has once again presented a welfare-oriented and exemplary budget that will ensure durable development, strengthening of economy and improvement in the living standard.

“An unprecedented increase has been made in the Annual Development Programme while the budget will prove to be a milestone in speedy development of Punjab and progress and prosperity of backward areas,” Shehbaz said.

He hoped that an era of speedy development and prosperity will usher in the province with the implementation of historic Annual Development Programme for the fiscal year 2016-17.

According to the CM, a comprehensive and effective programme has been evolved for making Punjab a safe, prosperous, educated and developed province with regard to agriculture and industry. “The new budget is a consolidated economic document for the progress and welfare of the people of the province.”

Claiming that the progress and prosperity of southern Punjab is priority of his government, Shehbaz said that Rs173 billion have been allocated for the prosperity of the region. He further said that top priority has been given in the budget to education, health, agriculture and water supply projects. “No burden has been put on common man in the budget while public welfare has been given due importance.”