Deprived areas to be prioritised in govt’s first budget: CM


–Senior Minister Aleem Khan discusses bilateral cooperation, avenues of foreign investment with Dutch ambassador

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Monday said the culture of change should be visible in the government’s first budget and deprived areas would be given preference in development programmes.

Presiding a high-level meeting to review development programmes, an increase in resources and proposals for the eight-month budget of the current fiscal year, the chief minister said that resources would also be allocated for the developed areas. “More attention will be given to provide basic necessities of life to the people,” he said.

CM Buzdar said that development of southern Punjab was included in the manifesto of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its prosperity would redress deprivations of the people.

“Realistic targets will be fixed to increase the resources and people will be provided with more facilities by ensuring financial discipline in government departments. A culture of austerity, simplicity and savings will be introduced at every level and resources will be provided to arrange basic facilities for the people by decreasing unnecessary expenditures,” he said.

“The common man will not be burdened by the government.”

Senior minister Abdul Aleem Khan, at the occasion, said that revenue would have to be increased along with bringing a reasonable decrease in government expenditures. “The traditional procedure of increasing the resources will have to be avoided and for that purpose, the departments are needed to work on new and innovative ideas,” he said.

Provincial minister Hashim Jawan Bakht said the first budget of the PTI government would be based on realistic figures.

Besides Aleem Khan and Hashim Jawan Bakht, provincial ministers, including Mohsin Leghari, Malik Anwar, Hafiz Mumtaz Ahmed, Ansar Majeed, Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan Khichi; Punjab chief secretary, P&D chairman, secretaries concerned and other senior officials also attended the meeting.


Separately, Abdul Aleem Khan said that all kinds of foreign investments would be given full protection by the government.

During a meeting with Ambassador of Netherlands Ardi Stoios-braken, who called on him here, the minister said that masses had high hopes with the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and the incumbent government had started the journey in the right direction.

“We have great potential in every sector and the only thing needed is an honest and dedicated leadership.”

Aleem assured the Dutch ambassador that projects launched in collaboration with the Netherlands would not only be continued, but further opportunities would also be sorted by both the countries.

“Unfortunately, we were handed over a deteriorating economy and the country cannot be taken forward without strengthening it first,” he said.

The senior minister added that new avenues of investment would be offered in the province soon and the Punjab Board of Investment would be reactivated with a new vision.

Ardi Stoios-braken, at the occasion, welcomed the government’s vision and said that her country had a great interest in joint ventures in agriculture, livestock, dairy development, water management and women empowerment sectors.

She expressed her concerns over the economy-related issues faced by Pakistan and expressed hope that they would be resolved soon under the leadership of PM Khan.