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PM directs Punjab to complete uplift works of province in stipulated time


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Punjab government to complete the development projects in the province within the stipulated time.
Chairing a meeting regarding development projects in Punjab through a virtual mode on Monday, the prime minister emphasised on giving special focus on district development packages to ensure provision of facilities to the general public.
He called for developing playgrounds in every district to provide the youth opportunities for health activities. Talking about the Universal Healthcare System in Punjab, Imran Khan directed to ensure steps so that a common man can fully benefit from this system without any hurdle.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar apprised the meeting that the budget for development projects for the current fiscal year has been enhanced by 66 percent, while utilisation ratio of previous budgetary allocations remained 97 percent, which is a record in the last ten years. He said a total of 5,889 development schemes were completed last year.
Secretary Board of Planning Punjab apprised the meeting that budget targets for this year have been set in view of Punjab Growth Strategy 2023.
He said special focus has been made on economic growth, inclusive and horizontal, agricultural and human development, sustainable development goals, district development package, environment protections and Public-Private Partnership. He said the total volume of this year’s development budget is 560 billion rupees, entailing 7116 projects and 90 new schemes.
The meeting was also informed that Rs54 billion have been allocated for education, Rs99 billion for health, Rs100 billion for district development package, Rs36.5 billion for agriculture, Rs11.3 billion for social protections, Rs12.2 billion for industry, and Rs5 billion for the information technology sector. It was said that the development budget is likely to create 350,000 job opportunities.
The meeting was briefed that special attention has been given to the development of agriculture and industry in the province for which their budget has been enhanced by 300 percent.
Separately, chairing a virtual meeting on monsoon plantation on Monday, Prime Minister Khan said that environment protection is one of the top priorities of the government and the tree plantation campaign plays a vital role in this regard.
He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has established an example in making the Billion Tree Tsunami a success that needs to be followed. The prime minister said that Pakistan’s efforts for environment protection are being recognised at the international level.
He directed to finalise a tree plantation plan at divisional and district level in Punjab. He also stressed the need to monitor the plantation campaign to ensure transparency and to use modern means, while compiling results.
Imran Khan emphasised on ensuring participation of Tiger Force, students, members of civil society, government departments and private organisations in the tree plantation campaign.
The prime minister was briefed about tree plantation targets in Punjab and the strategy to achieve them. The meeting was informed that Punjab will play a leading role in the Monsoon Tree Plantation campaign.
Punjab Forest Minister said that six-monthly targets have been set to make the province green.
The chairman of Capital Development Authority also briefed the meeting regarding the tree plantation campaign in the Islamabad Capital Territory.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) today (Tuesday) to review the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The prime minister will outline his vision for dealing with the triple challenges faced by the world, which include the Covid-19 pandemic, the reversal of economic progress, and the existential threat posed by climate change.
He would suggest measures that need to be taken at the national and international level for an effective response to ‘build back better.’
The theme of the 2021 HLPF is achieving a sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that puts us on a path for achieving the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
The prime minister has been regularly addressing this theme at various international fora and has put forth several practical recommendations in that regard, many of which are in the process of implementation.
The HLPF will discuss the policies that have been implemented so far to respond to the pandemic and its impacts. Many countries will also present their Voluntary National Reviews on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the ongoing crisis at the Forum.
A ministerial declaration will be adopted by the HLPF to make recommendations on how to address the impacts of Covid-19 while making the transformation needed to achieve a more sustainable and inclusive economy, building robust and universal healthcare and social protection systems, and protecting the planet.
The HLPF is convened every year under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council, which is currently presided over by Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN in New York.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasised the need for rehabilitation and protection of mausoleums and historic sites for promotion of religious tourism.
The premier’s statement came on Monday as he presided over a meeting on the comprehensive development and management of the mausoleum of Hazrat Data Ganj Bukhsh and the preservation, rehabilitation, and beautification of Lahore’s historic Badshahi Mosque and other mausoleums in Punjab.
He called for the formation of a comprehensive plan for the proper use of state lands around the mausoleums so that those could be utilised for hospitals and educational institutions. He said shrines located across the country are historic assets.
It was informed that a plan has been devised for the improvement of Data Darbar’s surrounding infrastructure to facilitate pilgrims as well as make this area the centre of religious tourism and education.
Under this plan, Data Darbar will be transformed into a welfare centre where the deserving pilgrims will not only be provided with food and accommodation but arrangements will also be made for their education.
As regards the renovation and conservation plan of Badshahi Mosque, the meeting was informed that arrangements will be made to provide better facilities to the worshippers, besides construction of different facilities including Quran Hall.
Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Punjab Minister for Aauqaf Pir Syed Saeedul Hassan, Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, Special Assistant to CM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Chief Secretary Punjab and other senior officials attended the meeting through video-link. Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib was also present during the meeting.
Late last month, the prime minister had inaugurated various tourism-related projects in Naran, where he also planted a sapling as part of a tree campaign during his visit.
The premier, on April 23 as he inaugurated the Kohsar University in Murree, had said: “Our tourism industry is growing fast, and social media has played an important role in that […] Tourism is the future of Pakistan. We can pay all our debts with tourism alone.” He had said that Pakistan can earn far more from tourism as compared to exports. – TLTP