LAHORE, May 01 (APP):Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that loans worth Rs 46.020 billion had been distributed under Chief Minister’s Self Employment Scheme (CMSES) benefiting directly or indirectly 12 million most needy people and loans return ratio was 99.9 percent.
Addressing the CMSES cheques distribution ceremony here at Aiwan-e-Iqbal, he said that on one side, there were brave sons and daughters of the nation who had returned every penny of interest-free loans and on the contrary, the elite had got its mega loans worth billions of rupees waived off which was a great cruelty with the poor nation. Those, who got their loans waived off, had committed the crime with this nation and due to their crime, social divide between the poor and the rich had widened, while poverty and joblessness increased, he added.
Shehbaz Sharif said, “We have worked hard for public service while the performance of political opponents in their provinces is evident before the people. The elections are nearer and therefore, political opponents are showing their political jugglery to the people. The motto of Imran Niazi is to stage sit-ins and do not do any work while the purpose of Zardari is to perform no work at all. Those who have looted the hard-earned money of the poor nation are giving lectures against corruption. The nation has not forgotten their scandals till today. I have already said that if the corruption of even a single penny is proved against me with regard to my last ten years in government, then I shall be fully accountable before you. I also add this that I should be posthumously hanged by bringing my corpse out of the grave if any corruption is proved against me after my death. We have saved billions of rupees of the poor nation in development projects and there is no other example of such savings in development projects during the last 70 years.”
He said that today’s ceremony was very important as it was the happy occasion of Shab-e-Barat and Labour Day, adding that Labour Day was observed throughout the world in recognition of hard work of labourers, and ceremonies were held in Pakistan to pay homage to the labourers. He said that when he came back from a journey of Europe in 2010, a ceremony was held in the Mosque of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh (RA) to initiate this programme for those needy people who had education and skills but lack necessary resources with a purpose to enable such impecunious people to become self-reliant.
Under the CMSES, Rs 46.020 billion loans had so far been distributed transparently and this was the story of hard work, honesty and trust which was moving forward without any lust, profit or show-off. Due to this program, he opined, the needy people had emerged as builders of the nation instead of ending up as beggars.
Shehbaz Sharif said the elite had got their mega loans waived off while needy people who got loans under this scheme had returned every penny of it. The elite enjoyed every worldly boon while the poor were even deprived of basic necessities of life and this could not be called a Pakistan of Quaid and Allama Iqbal in any way, he added.
Millions of people, he recalled, had come to Pakistan after giving great sacrifices and gone through rivers of blood with the prime hope that honesty, truth and hard work would rule here and hard work would be given respect, as there would be no corruption, gratification or extortion in Pakistan. He said, but unluckily a culture of recommendations ruled and the principles of hard work, honesty and trust were ignored. Now, the time had come to change this culture and nation should stand up to change this outdated system, he added.
The chief minister said whenever Allah Almighty gave them an opportunity, they had served the people selflessly. The National Accountability was proactively working in Punjab and the Supreme Court was also taking notice of several issues. If the corruption of even a single penny was proved against him in the development projects launched during last ten year, then he would be fully accountable to the people, he added.
He said those who had got waived off loans worth billions of rupees and the politicians, who themselves were involved in corrupt practices, were giving statements against corruption and giving the nation lessons about honesty.
He said he welcomed the institutions, who were active against corruption. They should, however, give attention to the recovery of looted public money as accountability of the corrupt should be held without any discrimination, he added.
Shehbaz Sharif said through hard work, they had saved hundreds of billions rupees in development projects. The Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) was a project of China and there was a G2G (government to government) agreement about that scheme under which tendering process was not undertaken. “I wrote a letter to the Chinese government that we want to initiate tendering in this project. The company gave the lowest bidding of Rs 210 billion in the tendering process. We negotiated with this company and the project cost was further decreased to Rs 165 billion and this way, Rs 45 billion was saved and after it, the civil works was awarded to Pakistani companies and Rs 9 billion more was saved as a result of negotiations with them. Total Rs. 65 billion was saved in this project,” he added..
The chief minister said the Pakistan Tehrrek-i-Insaf (PTI) got the OLMT project delayed for 22 months and in revenge, the people of Lahore did not show up in the PTI meeting two days back. “Our political opponents got an opportunity of public service in their provinces but they did nothing there. Even a single penny was not disbursed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as interest-free loan while billions of rupees were usurped in Sindh instead of giving interest-free loans to the needy there.” Despite all that, they were making claims about elimination of poverty, unemployment and corruption, he asserted.
Shehbaz Sharif said Imran Niazi called the Metro Bus Service of Lahore a ‘Jangla Bus’ and used to say that he would build educational institutions and hospitals instead of Metro Bus projects if he got funds. He had neither built educational institutions nor hospitals in KP province and the entire city of Peshawar had been dug up in the name of Metro Bus project, the CM added.
“I have stated during my recent visit to Peshawar that if the people of KP given an opportunity to us then this project will be completed in just five months,” he said and added that the PML-N government had set up 5,000 megawatt electricity projects from its own resources along with initiation of the gigantic CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) projects.
He elaborated that the Punjab government installed 1150 megawatt Bhikki Power Plant, 1250 megawatt power plant at Haweli Bahadar Shah and 1200 megawatt Balloki Power Plant.
He said it also went to the PML-N’s federal government which completed the Neelum Jhelum Power Plant at the cost of Rs 500 billion, which had been ignored by successive governments for the last 20 years. The Guddu Power Plant was set up during tenure of Asif Zardari and “we have set up a similar plant at the half price after eight years, and saved Rs 150 billion of the nation,” he added.
Shehbaz Sharif said if given an opportunity again, the PML-N would make Pakistan a country of Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal in the real sense.
Akhuwat (NGO) Executive Director Dr Amjad Saqib also spoke on the occasion. The chief minster distributed cheques of interest-free loans among the needy persons.
Punjab Assembly Speaker, provincial ministers, MPAs, chief secretary, intellectuals, columnists and a large number of people attended the ceremony.