LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said Pakistan is rich in natural resources as well as manpower and there is a need for commitment and hard-work to make the country prosperous and to rank it among the developed nations using the same. He said in order to achieve the objective of prosperity and progress, we need to rely on our own resources without banking on the foreign aid. He said sovereignty and freedom of the country depends upon self-reliance. The chief minister was talking to Members Assembly belonging to various districts at CMs Secretariat, here on Friday. The Members informed the CM about the ongoing development projects and problems of the people of their respective areas. The CM said government was utilizing all available resources for the speedy development of the province and a huge amount of Rs175 billion has been allocated for uplift projects under Annual Development Programme. He said the government is paying special attention to the development of backward and remote areas. He said the goal of national progress and prosperity cannot be achieved without elimination of illiteracy and ignorance, therefore, government is attaching top priority to the promotion of education. He said Educational Endowment Fund has been set up with a sum of Rs4 billion for providing financial assistance to poor but talented students to continue their education in addition to scholarships to talented students He said that a sum of Rs2 billion will be added to this fund each year. The CM further said that 70 per cent population of the country was associated with agriculture and government is taking solid measures for the development of this sector. He said in addition to quality seed, tractors and agri-implements are also being provided to the cultivators at subsidised rates. He said ten thousand green tractors were provided to farmers at subsidised rate last year and funds have also been allocated this year for green tractor scheme. The elected representatives paid tributes to the CM on his efforts for the development of the province and welfare of the masses. Those who met the chief minister included Malik Nausher Khan Lagarial, Ch Shaukat Mehmood, Abdul Razaq Dhilon, Zafar Zulqarnain Sahi, Kazim Ali Pirzada, Rana Muhammad Arshad and Sardar Atif Hussain Mazari.