LAHORE - The Special Committee under the chairmanship of Punjab Additional Chief Secretary Shamail Ahmad Khawaja has finalised its recommendations regarding the pilot project of Union Council-Based Poverty Reduction with an initial cost of Rs5 billion.

This community based development programme is meant for the prosperity of poorest of the poor families through social mobilization in rural areas at union council level which is the lowest functional administrative unit in the province.

Under this project, trained professionals will reach out to each and every household and will provide poor people of rural area proper guidance to rid out of poverty and will motivate them to start successful business on small scale with joint collaboration at village level. Technical consultancy along with preparation of investment plan will be provided free of cost to them.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had constituted a special committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary Punjab Shamail Ahmad Khwaja and comprising experts of relevant fields for considering in detail the pilot project proposed by the Chairman Rural Support Programmes Network Shoaib Sultan.

The committee had been assigned the task of evolving best mechanism with regard to enhancing usefulness of proposed project at UC based poverty reduction. This committee will identify five such districts of the province for thrashing out UC based poverty reduction project which deserve more attention regarding socio-economic backwardness.

The meeting was informed that all projects of poverty alleviation are working at tehsil level while proposed pilot project will provide technical consultation to poor people at union council level. Under proposed pilot project, proposal has been given for setting up of community-based organization comprising 20 implementation partners in each backward village in 107 union councils of the province.

These community organizations will jointly constitute village organizations while local support organizations will coordinate all affairs at union council level. In the first phase of this project, 2.5 lakh rural families will be rid of poverty.