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LAHORE, June 17: The Punjab government has announced launching the Metro Bus System (MBS) in three more big cities of the province.

“Since the experience of the MBS is quite successful in Lahore, we have decided to launch it in Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan as well,” Punjab Finance Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman revealed while tabling the provincial budget for the fiscal year 2013-14 at the Punjab Assembly session here on Monday.

He said a subsidy of Rs3 billion would also be awarded to the public transport sector in order to facilitate travelers, besides expanding the MBS to other cities.

Mr Rehman said the government planned to expand the Ashiyana Housing Scheme across the province because it proved beneficial for low-income families in various mega cities. “We have proposed an allocation of Rs3 billion initially in this regard,” he added.

About the approaching month of Ramazan, he said the government had allocated Rs5 billion for holding Ramazan bazaars throughout the province. “This amount will be spent on providing essential commodities on cheaper rates to the people during the holy month,” he said.

According to the budget documents, the government will transfer a sum of Rs214.800 billion to the entire district/city district governments of the province under the provincial finance commission (PFC) award.

“Similarly, it will transfer Rs17 billion, Rs6 billion and Rs1.2 billion to the entire town municipal administrations, union councils/administrations and cantonment boards, respectively, under the PFC award,” reads the budget documents.

A sum of Rs413.646 million, Rs586.680 million and over Rs3 billion have been proposed to be allocated for housing development, community development and water supply schemes, respectively.

The forest, fishing, road transport, mining and construction works’ sectors will have Rs2.7 billion, Rs468.632 million, Rs450.738 million, Rs3.5 billion and Rs3.4 billion, respectively, in the new budget.