LAHORE - Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif while describing the new provincial budget as realistic and reflective of public aspirations said that it is the best welfare budget under the present circumstances. He expressed these views while talking to assembly members belonging to various areas of the province at Chief Ministers Secretariat on Tuesday. The chief minister said by presenting a tax-free budget, the government has proved that all-out resources are being spent on the welfare of the masses and no effort was being spared for the progress and development of the province. He said by allocating all-out resources for the welfare and uplift of the people, the government has proved its commitment to the service of the masses. Shahbaz said special emphasis has been laid in the new budget for bringing the backward areas of the province at par with the developed ones while a special fund has also been set up for the youth. He said in addition to launching 20 mobile hospitals, liver transplant facility and setting up of new medical colleges, special attention has also been give to the uplift of education sector and development of urban and rural areas. The chief minister said non-developmental expenditure has been curtailed to the maximum and the additional resources thus generated will be spent on the provision of basic facilities to the masses. He said a glorious example has been set through making 25 per cent reduction in the salaries of provincial ministers and the expenditure of their offices as well as Chief Ministers Secretariat. Similarly, he said, the decision regarding the use of official vehicles by all ministers and government officers strictly in accordance with their entitlement is highly commendable. He said culture of austerity has been promoted in the province while good governance and merit is being ensured, while, solid measures have been taken for the elimination of corruption from the province. Shahbaz said present leadership considers itself custodian of every penny of public money and all resources will be spent only on the welfare of the people in a transparent manner. He said welfare projects for the poor will continue next year as well and the critics of a welfare scheme like Sasti Roti for the benefit of orphans, widows, workers and deprived segments of society stand fully exposed to the poor masses. The chief minister said it is unfortunate that the detractors of this welfare programme raised no voice against those who plundered national resources, got loans of billions of rupees waived off and robbed Punjab Bank but they are irritated by this pro-poor project. He stressed upon elected representatives to play their due role for the monitoring of this project for the benefit of the deserving persons. Shahbaz said assembly members should maintain a close contact with the people and take all possible measures for the solution of peoples problems as well as timely and transparent completion of development projects. The assembly members congratulated the chief minister on the presentation of welfare and tax-free budget and observed that it reflected the aspirations of the masses. They said that by continuing Sasti Roti programme the chief minister has earned the goodwill of the poor and assured that they will make every effort for the success of this programme. Those who met the chief minister included Member National Assembly Rana Mehmood-ul-Hassan, Members Provincial Assembly, Provincial Minister Muham-mad Iqbal Channar, Ch Muhammad Shafique Khan, Muhammad Ijaz Shafi, Imran Zafar, Ch. Khalid Pervaiz Virk, Ch. Irfan Bashir Ansari, Abdul Waheed Ch, Rana Ijaz Ahmed Noon, Aamir Saeed Ansari and Syed Rafi-ud-Din Bukhari.