LAHORE – Special Assistant to Prime Minister Fawad Ahmed Chaudhry on Sunday criticised the four-year performance and policies of the Punjab government, terming all its projects flawed and indicative of its misplaced priorities.

Addressing a press conference at a local hotel, Fawad said the Punjab government had spent Rs20 billion on the Sasti Roti scheme, but it proved to be a failure. “The Yellow Cab scheme, Danish School project, Ashiana scheme and Laptop scheme were launched afterwards, but all these also flopped and now the Bus Rapid Transit System project is in progress and it will also meet the same fate,” he viewed.

The special assistant to prime minister said according to the Institute of Public Policy Lahore, the progress rate of Punjab was less than that of other provinces of the country. “When the PML-N assumed power in Punjab, the provincial revenue was 27.2 per cent, but it has now dropped to 12.7 percent,” said Fawad, adding the budgetary deficit of the Punjab government had increased manifold.

The Punjab government, he added, had so far spent Rs28 billion in the first phase of the BRTS on Ferozpur Road and its other two phases would cost approximately Rs60-70 billion. Fawad appealed to the Supreme Court to take notice of this flawed project.

He went on to say that according to a Punjab Census 2006, the number of primary schools was 51,602 and this has now dropped to 43,123. “According to Annual Status of Education Report 2011, 30 per cent schools of Punjab are without toilets, 20 per cent do not have the facility of drinking water and 24 per cent are without boundary walls,” he added.

He said the agriculture sector was the backbone of the national economy, which was also suffering because of the flawed agricultural policies of the Punjab government, adding that the agriculture development rate had decreased from 3.32 to just 1 per cent.

Answering a question, he said the Punjab government had spent a hefty amount on various schemes but not a single project was successfully working. The Punjab government, he said, should have spent this money on power production that might have improved the economic situation.