LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Social Welfare Raja Basharat has said that the government can ensure free education and health for the people of the province in 10 years if subsidy being given to Metro Bus and amount spent on Orange Line Train projects are withdrawn.

He was addressing at the launch of “Punjab Literacy and Non-Formal Basic Education (NFBE) policy 2019” to achieve 100 per cent literacy by 2030 at 90 Shahrah-i-Quaid-i-Azam on Thursday.

Minister for Literacy & NFBE Department Raja Rashid Hafeez, Secretary Literacy & NFBE Department Ms Sumaira Samad, representatives from the private sector and non-government organisations and stakeholders from different segments of society were present at the occasion.

He said the state would have to provide basic education and health to the people of the country as per the constitution but the successive governments had launched cosmetic projects to put burden on the national exchequer.

Transport subsidy withdrawal can help ensure free education, health: minister

He said no priorities were given to resolve public issues and costly projects were launched. “Without subsidy the Orange Line Train ticket will be of Rs 287.”

He said the literacy department was launched in 2002 and the previous government had not given priority to launch its policy and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf took step to come up with first-ever literacy policy in the history of Punjab.

“We are fulfilling our promises as education is among the top priorities of the PTI government,” he said.

Mr Basharat said the new policy would provide access to education in remote and far-flung areas.

Mr Hafeez said the government was determined to achieve 100pc literacy rate in the province by 2030 to fulfill the constitutional commitments under article 37B and 25A.

He said the main purpose of the policy was to ensure the alignment and integration with provincial and national constitutional and legal obligations and international commitments for better service delivery.Literacy Secretary Sumaira Samad said the department was proud to launch the ‘first-ever’ literacy and non-formal education policy 2019.

It merits mentioning that the literacy policy is encouraging research and development and it infuses the information communication technology for reaching out to public at large for the cause of education.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2020

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