BY ATHER ALI KHAN
High benchmarks of efficiency, transparency set under CM Shehbaz’s leadership
LAHORE: The Punjab government under the leadership of Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has set high benchmarks of integrity, efficiency, transparency and merit in the province. With all resources being spent for the uplift of the province and welfare of the people, the government has initiated several mega projects while setting a new record of saving Rs682 billion in 12 of the projects.
The saved resources are being used in other public welfare schemes.
In only three projects including the Chiniot Iron Ore project, Energy and the Orange Line Metro Train, the government has saved Rs587 billion. Similarly, land worth Rs62 billion was retrieved from illegal occupants, additional resources worth Rs6.8 billion were saved from the Lahore Ring Road (Southern Loop 1 and 2) project, Rs4.6 billion from the Metro Bus Network (Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan), Rs3 billion from the Punjab Safe City Project, Rs3.1 billion from the Pakistan Kidney & Liver Institute (PKLI), Rs2.8 billion from the Self Employment Scheme, Rs1 billion each from the procurement of quality medicines and the solarisation of schools.
The total savings that are worth Rs682 billion are almost twice the amount of the province’s annual development budget. The provision of a record development budget to south Punjab is also an achievement of the PML-N-led Punjab government. Transparency, quality and speed being the distinctive features of the government are why “Punjab Speed” is not only famous in Pakistan, but now also in the world.
The government to its credit has several projects including those that brought reforms in the education, health, agriculture and other sectors. The positive impact of the projects has raised the living standards of the public. The chief minister is optimistic that on the basis of performance, the PML-N will come into power again after the 2018 elections, and has expressed his determination to bring Pakistan in the line of developed countries.
According to CM Punjab’s statement during a high-level meeting, “Punjab government is fast-tracking the execution of public service projects, as timely completion of uplift projects is on its priority list.”
According to results of the last Gallup Pakistan survey, 49% of the respondents from across the country said they were satisfied with the performance of the Punjab government. This figure increased even further with the residents of Punjab, 61% of which said they were satisfied with their provincial government. The numbers were backed by the results of the Pulse Consultant survey, which showed that 41% respondents from across Pakistan and 49% from Punjab approved of the provincial administration’s performance.
Last year, CM Shehbaz made a key address to the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. The chief minister addressed the forum and termed President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road vision a splendid initiative to make future of the world beautiful. Shehbaz was the only leader of any country’s province participating in the forum and had the honour to address the forum. The Chinese government had especially invited Shehbaz to take part in the forum and it was an honour not only for Punjab but the whole country. World leaders attending the conference highly appreciated the address of the chief minister and his efforts to ensure all-round development in Punjab.
The invitation to the chief minister to address the forum was an acknowledgment to his personal and strong endeavors to strengthen the Pak-China relations and fast-track initiatives to implement the CPEC projects by the Chinese government. It would not be an exaggeration to say that CM Shehbaz’s vision has improved the lives of millions in Punjab.