Rs 550 billion socio-economic projects ongoing in Punjab

Rs 550 billion socio-economic projects ongoing in Punjab

LAHORE: Lawmakers and experts on Sunday said that Rs 550 billion on-going 6,080 development projects across the province would improve living standard of a common man and bring about socio-economic revolution in the province.

The experts pointed out that development projects/ schemes were self-explanatory precedents of standard, transparency and high speed.

MPA Qazi Adnan Fareed told APP that during the financial year 2017-18, an amount of Rs 282 billion under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) had been released for implementation of 6,080 development projects across the province.

Giving the break-up of the programme, he said that out of this development budget, Rs 169 billion had been earmarked for social sectors, including Rs 42.5 billion for health, Rs 68 billion for education, while Rs 158 billion had been given for infrastructure development including roads, irrigation and public building sectors. Also, an amount of Rs 29.2 billion had been allocated for development of agriculture and livestock sectors, he added.

This also included Rs 44.5 billion for education, Rs 29.8 billion for health, Rs 24 billion for water supply and sanitation and Rs 3 billion for sports and youth affairs, Qazi Adnan said.

He said that numerous mega welfare schemes (MWS) were being carried out at a fast pace, adding the prioritized sectors were education, health, agriculture and social sector. "These funds have been released for the implementation of schemes all over Punjab without any geographical discrimination," he added.

To a question he said that during the current financial year, Rs 173 billion had been allocated for the development projects of south Punjab, which would change the fate of the area. A former official of P&DD, Dr Mehmood Khalid Qamar, said the total development programme of Rs 550 billion was approved by the Provincial Assembly for the financial year 2017-18, which was 38 per cent higher than the development programme of last year.

President Pakistan Economy Watch Dr Murtaza Mughal said that GDP has improved after 2013 and peace situation in the country is also better now. He said that the government and private actors should play their role for economic development of the country.

PML-N MPA from Multan Rana Mehmood-ul-Hasan said that Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was personally monitoring the ongoing welfare projects, adding that more resources have been allocated for welfare of the people of south Punjab. The completion of Metro Bus project in Multan and now lauch of Speedo bus was a gift for the people of south Punjab, he added.

While providing details, he said that the government had allocated Rs 100 million for Bahauddin Zakariya University, Rs 302 million for establishment of a women's college in Qadirpur Raan, Rs 33 million for women's college in Muzaffargarh  and Rs 12 million for a men's college in Kabeerwala and  Rs 277 million  were being spent on Muhammad Nawaz Sharif  University in Multan.

For upgradation of infrastructure, the provincial government allocated Rs 1.2 billion including Rs 240 million for a women protection centre. The project is in the final stage of completion, he added. He said that the government has earmarked Rs 44 billion to launch Safe City Project in six cities of south Punjab.

The project would be completed in December 2017, he added. PML-N MNA Mehmood Bashir Virk said that due to strong economic policies of the government, national economy has been strengthened and today the country  is more secure and developed as compared with 2013.

PLM-N MPA from Bahawalpur Malik Muhammad Iqbal Channar said that development projects in south Punjab were being completed at a fast pace, including Khawaja Farid Engineering & Information Technology University, a cadet college, a bridge on River Indus connecting Rajanpur and Rahim Yar Khan, upgradation of teaching hospital in Dera Ghazi Khan and a  veterinary university in Bahawalpur.

The government was also planning to computerise record of 374 of 716 police stations in the region. Funds have also been earmarked for specialised units such as the Dolphin Force, an emergency response team and a special protection unit, he said.

He said that providing people with best health facilities, the Punjab government was spending a huge amount in south Punjab, which include costruction of a District Headquarters Hospital in Multan (Rs 10 million), establishment of  cardiology centre in Rajanpur (Rs 20 million), construction of a hospital in Layyah (Rs 17 million), Rs 40 million for renovations of Vehari District Headquarters Hospital and Rs 10 million for establishment of a urology ward at Muzaffargarh District Headquarters Hospital.

He said the government was spending Rs10 million for a biomedical workshop in Multan, Rs17 million for upgrades at District Headquarters Hospital, Kabirwala and Rs16 million for the establishment of a trauma centre in Taunsa.

Similarly the Rs80.4 million were being spent for remodelling of Nishtar Hospital in Multan, Rs170.9 million project of a residential colony for the staff of Dera Ghazi Khan Medical College was under construction, and a Rs 30 million project of establishment of a children's complex in Bahawalpur would also be completed during 2017, he added.

Nasir Iqbal Bosal, special assistant to prime minister, said that the National Highway Authority (NHA), as per directions of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, was providing quality communication facilities to the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Fata. He said funds have been provided for three ongoing mega communication projects including Lowari Tunnel costing Rs 26 billion, Peshawar Northern Bypass, Rs 21 billion and Hazara Motorway, Rs 22.1 billion, to make it operational by December 2017.