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Punjab budget 2019-20: Govt’s focus on public-private partnership

Updated June 15, 2019

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The government plans to launch 14 development schemes of Local Government and Community Development Department under the PPP mode. — Khurram Amin/File
The government plans to launch 14 development schemes of Local Government and Community Development Department under the PPP mode. — Khurram Amin/File

LAHORE: The Punjab government plans to launch 71 development projects of various sectors under the public-private-partnership mode in the fiscal year 2019-20.

According to budget document, the government plans to launch 14 development schemes of Local Government and Community Development Department under the PPP mode.

These schemes include establishment of model cattle markets at Kunjah (Gujrat), Khushab, Lahore, Gujranwala and Dera Ghazi Khan; construction of parking plazas at potential sites in major municipalities across Punjab; construction of model slaughterhouse in Bahawalpur; establishment of a bus stand at Jandanwala (Bhakkar); installation of consumer water meters in the areas of urban municipalities; construction of parking plazas, including one underground outside Delhi Gate (Lahore); establishment of joyland amusement parks in Punjab; construction of municipal services complex in Bahawalpur and parking plaza in Faisalabad.

71 schemes to be launched under this mode

Road schemes to be launched under the PPP mode include dualisation of various provincial highways/roads in Khanewal, Jhang, Gujrat, Okara, Mianwali, Chakwal, Chiniot, Pindi Bhattian, Muzaffargarh, Vehari, Faisalabad and Multan. Similarly, a scheme of the energy department titled installation of a 100MW solar house plant in Bahawalpur will also be launched in the fiscal year 2019-20.

Urban development’s schemes include construction of an outfall sewer and sewage treatment plant (Rawalpindi); construction of elevated expressway from main boulevard (Gulberg) to motorway; provision and installing consumer water meters in Multan, Lahore and Gujranwala; construction of structure plan road from Expo centre to Khayaban-e-Jinnah, Lahore; widening and improvement of Defence Road from Shahkam Chowk to Labour Colony; construction of new link road connecting Lahore-Multan motorway with Multan road and construction of flyover at Shahkam Chowk.

Also, various development projects of women development, sports and youth affairs, specialized healthcare, agriculture, livestock and dairy development, industries, commerce and investment tourism, governance, information and technology and transport would also be launched under the PPP mode.

“Under the prevailing tough economic situation, we’ve presented a good budget focusing massive development of social sector and setting direction of the PTI government. Under this, we’re set to establish nine new hospitals and six universities. Under Punjab Ehsas programme, we are also launching various schemes for widows, senior citizens, acid victims and others,” Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakhat claimed while talking to the media on the Punjab Assembly premises after the conclusion of the budget session.

He said Punjab’s development budget had doubled from the last fiscal year and of them 37 per cent would be spent on south Punjab areas. “Under a policy and the law, no one would be allowed to spend south Punjab budget in other parts of the province,” he added.

Law Minister Raja Basharat said the opposition’s protest drive was not in sight. “In today’s session, they (the opposition) did nothing but to protest and creating noise,” he deplored.

On the other hand, opposition members criticised the budget. “This budget is the anti-people budget that cannot be accepted at all,” said Khawaja Imran Nazir. A woman MPA from the opposition criticized the budget. “How they (the government) can make tall claims on the budget as its own ministers and members are not accepting,” she said.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2019