Shahbaz to unleash ‘khidmat revolution’

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Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that government is launching a ‘revolutionary programme’ of providing direct targeted subsidy to extremely low-income families to reduce their financial burden and billions of rupees have been allocated for this purpose.

While presiding over a high level meeting on Tuesday, he said in first phase of Punjab Khidmat Programme, more than 1.3 million low-income families would be provided direct targeted subsidy. He said for the purpose of ensuring transparency in the implementation of the programme, Special Khidmat Cards would be issued through which low-income families would be able to receive one thousand rupees in cash on monthly basis.

Provincial Minister for Food Bilal Yasin, Minister for Education and Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, secretary food, secretary information, director food and other concerned officers were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that welfare and provision of relief to the deprived segments of the society is the top priority of the government and the programme of providing direct targeted subsidy through Punjab Khidmat Card has been evolved for reducing financial burden on deprived families. The programme will be started from 2014.

Shahbaz said that data of the poorest of the poor families has been compiled in a transparent manner and Special Khidmat Cards bearing the name of the head of the family and his computerised national identity card number would be issued for this purpose. He said that the card will be valid for five years. He said that a modern monitoring system will be evolved for transparent implementation of Punjab Khidmat Programme and third-party audit system will also be introduced.

Shahbaz said that resources are a trust of the nation and Pakistan Muslim League-N government will utilize every penny of public money in a transparent manner so that maximum number of people could benefit from this revolutionary programme. He said that every step of the Punjab government is aimed at welfare of the common man. He said that PML-N government has set records of selfless public service during the last five years and greater efforts will be made in this direction in future.

The chief minister said that Rs 6 billion has been allocated in the current fiscal year for providing targeted subsidy to the poorest of the poor families through Khidmat Card programme and more funds will be allocated for this programme in the next fiscal year.

Shahbaz directed concerned authorities that the programme of provision of subsidy to the poorest families be implemented as soon as possible so that they could be provided relief at the earliest. He said that for the purpose of implementation of the subsidy programme institutional mechanism is being given a final shape so that speedy and transparent implementation of the programme could be ensured and the record of extremely poor persons could be preserved on permanent basis for using this data in future as well. The meeting was also given a briefing regarding important features of the targeted subsidy programme and the record of the extremely low-income families.