LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has claimed that the forthcoming budget of the province will reflect development and well-being of the people of Punjab in the true sense instead of mere statistics.
Chairing a meeting to review the 2021-22 provincial budget at the chief minister’s office on Saturday, Mr Buzdar said the Annual Development Programme (ADP) would be realistic following the vision of composite development. He claimed the overall budget would focus on austerity, savings and financial discipline.
He also mentioned that the allowances of provincial government employees had already been increased recently by 25 per cent and the salaries would be raised in the budget.
Discussing the priority areas and development projects in various sectors under the ADP, the chief minister directed to allocate more resources to the health sector in the wake of the pandemic. Education, infrastructure, and transport would be accorded priority, provision of clean drinking water ensured as well as development of other social sectors.
Buzdar said the budget would be welfare-oriented and special attention paid to the welfare of the deprived segments of society. “The forthcoming budget of Punjab government will be public-, cultivator-, industrialist- and worker-friendly and will bring good news,” he hoped.
He further said the government was aiming to provide maximum relief to the people. “Sustainable measures will be taken in the next fiscal year budget to facilitate all walks of life,” he added.
The CM said the scope of public-welfare projects would be extended under public-private partnership and unnecessary expenditures further reduced. No extra burden would be placed on the low-income groups, he announced.
Mr Buzdar also asked the civil bureaucracy to take all possible steps to increase revenue. He said the ADP would focus on sustainable and uniform development of social sectors and backward areas, adding that regional needs would be given due importance in welfare projects.
Earlier, the chief minister was briefed by Planning and Development Board chairman Abdullah Khan Sumbal about priorities in the ADP of the budget. The Punjab finance secretary apprised him of the salient features of the budget.
Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, the chief secretary, principal secretary to the chief minister and other officers concerned attended the meeting.
Mr Buzdar has called a meeting of the provincial parliamentary party on Sunday (today) ahead of tomorrow’s budget session.
Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2021