LAHORE: Punjab Information and Culture Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal on Sunday claimed that no financial misappropriation scandal involving any provincial cabinet member came to the fore in the one year of the provincial government.

In what was supposed to be a news conference to highlight the one-year performance of the provincial government, Mr Iqbal instead spent almost the entire time castigating the opposition parties about their time in power. He claimed the PTI’s Punjab government did not take loan of a single penny and tried to repay the Rs1.2 trillion debt left by the previous PML-N government.

He said Chief Minister Usman Buzdar was strictly following the government’s austerity policy and did not opt for protocols and establishing several camp offices like the former chief minister did. He claimed that the expenses of the chief minister’s office had been reduced by 60 per cent.

Responding to PML-N’s whitepaper, the information minister said the so-called document did nothing but hurl false and fabricated allegations. He alleged that while in power in the province and Centre, the PML-N had indulged in massive corruption.

About his government’s one year in power in Punjab, he said that for the first time in history of the province, an industrial policy had been introduced and four new technical universities established. Projects such as special economic zones, small industry, cottage industry and many others had been launched in the province. Such projects would bring revolution in the industry here, he claimed.

A 20,000-acre special economic zone in Muzaffargarh and Layyah would prove to be a game changer. He said nine new hospitals, including emergency wards in 12 big hospitals, and other projects would also be set up to facilitate patients.

Commenting on other reforms, the minister said the government’s e-policy for the transfer of teachers and other reforms had been introduced in agriculture, irrigation and other departments during the last one year, which would yield fruitful results in the next four years.

He further said the issuance of Insaf Health Card for journalists and media workers would be ensured. He claimed that the PTI government had made special arrangements for a couple of prisoners so that the opposition did not have any opportunity to criticise.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2019