LAHORE - Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that good governance, transparency and merit policy in Punjab have provided relief to the people while the common man is benefiting from such welfare programmes as Aashiyana, yellow cab, self-employment and laptops schemes as well as educational funds.

He said that implementation of development projects worth billions of rupees in the province especially South Punjab during the last four years has raised the living standard of the masses. He said that public service and process of provision of basic amenities to the people would continue in future as well. He said though tall claims were made in the dictatorial era of development and progress in South Punjab but instead development funds were looted in the name of uplift projects and the same corrupt mafia is again engaged in corruption with the help of rulers in Islamabad. However, he said these elements have been exposed and would be held accountable by the people. He held that the looted money would be recovered from thieves and plunderers and utilised on the welfare and betterment of the masses.

He was addressing senators and assembly members of Multan Division here Thursday.

During the meeting which lasted about four hours, approval was given to several development schemes in Multan Division while the pace of implementation of uplift projects, law and order situation and budgetary proposals were also considered in details. The Chief Minister said that it is for the first time in the 64 years’ history of Pakistan that mega projects have been executed in the far-flung areas of South Punjab on priority basis and their quality, transparency and timely completion had also been ensured. He said that health and education sectors were among the top priorities of the government and huge resources were being spent on the provision of better health and educational facilities to the masses. He said that engineering and agriculture universities would be set up in Multan during next year while Daanish schools will be established in Lodhran and Mailsi. He said that planning had also been made for the launching of a modern ambulance service in the rural areas of South Punjab from next year on the pattern of Rescue 1122 which would help in shifting of patients to hospitals immediately. He said that playgrounds were being constructed throughout the province for providing sports facilities to the youth and construction of football and hockey stadiums in Multan was speedily in progress. He said that state land was being retrieved from land mafia and development projects were being executed on this land. He also directed to retrieve Amirabad Park in Multan from land grabbers within 48 hours. He also issued instructions for the formation of a cabinet committee to review the matters regarding the land of Punjab government which was on lease to British Cotton Growers and Roberts Cotton Association in Khanewal and said that the committee should submit its report within a month.

Meanwhile, Ambassador of Japan in Pakistan, HE Hiroshi Oe called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, on Thursday. Wife of Japanese Ambassador Ms Madori Oe, First Secretary of Japanese Embassy Taka Hero Tamora, Honorary Consul General of Japan Aamir Shirazi, Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman and others were also present on the occasion. Matters relating to enhancing mutual cooperation in economic sector between Japan and Punjab province were discussed in detail during the meeting.