LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that Punjab budget is the budget of austerity and saving and added that PTI leadership has started this austerity policy upon them. We have made maximum deductions in the CM Office budget by making 58 percent decrease in the operational expenses of CMO.
The PTI government has made a new example by making only 2.7 percent increase in recurring expenditures. Ten to 20 percent decrease in non-salary, operational, M&R and other heads is a proof of practical measures for austerity. Unnecessary expenditures have been ended and repair and maintenance of personal residences in the name of security have been ended now as 28 crore rupees were spent for that purpose.
The number of security officials has been decreased from 2000 to 500 and I don’t have any camp office, private residence or any other office in Lahore like past traditions. We are the custodian of the national exchequer and public money will be spent on public welfare.
He was addressing the Punjab Assembly session after final approval of the 2019-20 budget. The Chief Minister announced to give three months salary as an honorarium for assembly staff and said that 47 percent more funds have been allocated for the ADP as compare to the previous year. Instead of personal projection projects, human resource development has been focused according to the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and we will come up to the trust of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
I, first of all, thank Almighty Allah for bestowing the honor of representing the people and grant us the opportunity to serve the people. Today is a historic day when the first formal budget of the PTI government has been approved and I extend congratulations to the whole of the house and finance minister and his team also deserves congratulation. Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch. Pervaiz Elahi ran the house in an amicable way and I also congratulate him. The Islamic welfare state is our destination and Bahimat Program is being started for citizens over 65 years under Punjab Ehsaas Program. Hum Qadam program is being started for disabled people and Sarprast program is being introduced for widows and orphans.
Similarly, Musawat program is also being introduced for hapless segments besides introducing Nai Zindgi program for the restoration of women suffering from acid throwing. Kheraj-e-Shuhada program is being introduced for financial aid of the families of those who became victim to terrorism. He said that we are going to give the biggest development budget in the health sector which is around 46 percent. We are constructing nine new hospitals and program is also underway to provide best treatment facilities to 70 lac families in quality private hospitals through Sehat Insaf Cards in 36 districts. He said that remote villages have been included in the journey of development through Naya Pakistan Manzalian Asaan and 1500 kilometer long carpeted roads are being made under it. He said that PTI government has set up shelter homes in Lahore, Rawalpindi and other districts for homeless passengers and this would be extended to divisional and district level in phases and shelter homes will also be set up in hospitals. Punjab government has opened 177 rest houses in the province which would promote tourism besides generating revenue.
The target of 25 lac homes has been fixed under Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme during the next five years and six new universities will be set up in the province. Baba Guru Nanak University will be set up in Nankana Sahib. He said that 35 percent development budget has been fixed for southern Punjab. This budget will not be utilized for any other purposes. In the past, only 12 percent or 17 percent development budget was used to be fixed for southern Punjab. He said that I have visited jails and issued directions to improve the facilities for prisoners during my jail visits in different districts and two months remission in the sentences of prisoners has been given for the first time in Punjab. One thousand prisoners have been got released by paying around 28 crore fine and Diyat. He said that the scope of rescue 1122 is being extended to sub-divisional headquarters level as this institution was ignored in the past. Agri reforms have been introduced and farmers are issued agri credit cards to facilitate the farmers. New agriculture policy has been implemented in Punjab. He said that construction activities in Great Thal Kanal Chubara Branch are being accelerated and work is being done on up-gradation of Trimmu and Punjnad Barrage.
One lakh 60 thousand acre land and 2.15 lakh people of 80 villages of Jhelum and Khushab will be provided water after the completion of Jalalpur Canal project. New labour policy has been formulated and the law has been introduced for the safety of workers and domestic servants. New allotment policy has been formulated for the allotment of houses to industrial workers in labour colonies. He said that sports calendar is being devised and vice-chancellors’ posting has been made on merit in public sector universities for the first time in Punjab. Punjab government has fulfilled the promise of giving allowance to engineers and doctors and police allowance is being enhanced as well. 13 cabinet meetings have been held and 1600 agenda items have been given approval. Punjab Assembly has taken lead in legislation. I have given respect and honor to elected representatives. The assembly members are CM of their constituencies; I am standing with them and you enjoy more respect than before, concluded the Chief Minister.