LAHORE - Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that improvement in living standards of the poor is a vital part of government’s agenda.

“Welfare-oriented programmes worth billions of rupees are being implemented successfully to achieve this goal. Important steps have been taken under a composite development strategy for the welfare of people of far-flung areas. Similarly, an efficient organisation with the name of Punjab Social Protection Authority has been established to implement welfare programmes in the province. A historic development programme worth Rs635 billion is being carried out in the province in the current fiscal year. This is the biggest development programme in the history of the province that will usher in stable economic development. Special attention has been paid to development of the social sector in the Annual Development Programme (ADP),” he said.

Talking to elected representatives from southern Punjab on Tuesday, the chief minister said that development of less developed and deprived areas was a government priority. He said that ample resources were being used for development and prosperity of deprived areas under the ADP. He said that exemplary steps had been taken to improve the quality of life under the development strategy of the Punjab government. He said that improvement in education, healthcare, agriculture, water and social sectors had been given importance. He said that political figures from southern Punjab came into power, but did nothing to overcome backwardness in the area.

On the other hand, he said, those who talked about rights of people of southern Punjab totally forgot them when they coming into power. He said that credit went to the PML-N, which had given special importance to development of southern Punjab . He said the government had implemented a solid strategy to get rid of backwardness in the area and heal the wounds of the past. He said that resources had been mobilised towards less developed and backward areas. He said mega projects worth billions of rupees had been completed in southern Punjab and work on many other projects was in progress.

“A mega project for provision of clean drinking water is being launched in southern Punjab . On the other hand, thousands of kilometres of rural roads have been constructed under the Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Roads Programme. All these roads are carpeted,” he said. He said that educational institutions like Daanish Schools had been established in different areas of southern Punjab and opportunities of free quality education had been provided to children of poorest of the poor in these institutions. He said that monthly stipend for girls studying in public sector schools of southern Punjab had been increased.

Shehbaz said that every step had been taken for development and prosperity of deprived areas. He said the metro bus service, which had been completed at a cost of billions of rupees in Multan, would provide the latest transport facilities to people of the region. He said that quality education institutions, universities and hospitals had been established in southern Punjab . He said that every penny was being spent on welfare of people with utmost honesty. He said that development projects of the Punjab government were unique with regard to transparency, quality and speed.

 CONDOLENCE

Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed a deep sense of grief and sorrow over the death of columnist and intellectual Adeeb Jadwani.

He extended heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family and said that Jadwani had a unique writing style. He rendered valuable services for the promotion of education. The chief minister said that journalistic as well as educational services of Jadwani would be remembered for long. He prayed to the Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved family to bear this loss with equanimity.