LAHORE: Minister for Excise & Taxation Punjab, Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, has said that the government has set up Punjab Social Protection Authority (PSPA) for providing socio-economic protection to poor and low income people.

This authority is starting its first project at a cost of two billion rupees under which scholarships will be given for the assistance of handicapped persons and their socio-economic rehabilitation, he added.

He stated this while talking to various delegations at his residence on Wednesday. He said that government has provided relief and subsidies to the people of the province in 2015-16 budget, which include subsidy of ten billion rupees on wheat, Ramazan Package of five billion rupees, subsidy of 3.5 billion rupees on transport and allocation of 10.8 billion rupees for the provision of free medicines.

He said that for basic sanitation measures i.e. clean & safe drinking water supply, sanitation, solid waste etc., measures are being adopted to save the people from communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as to provide them clean environmental atmosphere. He said that government was utilizing funds for the uplifting of social sector in the province so that to upgrade the social status of the people.

He told that an action plan is being implemented for the provision of clean & safe water supply to the masses of the province and required funds has been provided for this purpose, whereas, sufficient amount would be spent for the up-gradation of drainage & sewerage system of big cities in the province.

He said that the government is giving top priority to the supply of clean & safe drinking water to the masses, as it was essential for human health and to prevent the spread of fatal diseases like hepatitis, typhoid, etc.

The government would also install incinerators in all the public sector hospitals so that hospital waste could be disposed off without any harm of spreading communicable/non-communicable diseases, virus and without environmental pollution, he added.

Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman said that the Government will provide two billion rupees to Idara-e-Akhuwat for the provision of interest free loans under self-employment scheme.

Besides this, health insurance will also be started with two billion rupees. The government is constructing child protection institute for safeguarding unattended and hapless children and under-construction institute at Rahim Yar Khan will be completed during the current month.

Construction of institutions have been started in Bahawalpur and Sahiwal with a cost of 26 crore rupees besides Dar-ul-Amaans will be established for hapless women in Multan, Lodhran, Pakpattan, Kasur, Layyah, Hafizabad and Sheikhupura.