Punjab development budget for industry enhanced to Rs 12b from Rs 3b

LAHORE, Jun 14 (APP): Keeping in view the great importance of industrial sector in overall economic growth, Punjab government has increased development allocation four times i.e. from Rs 3 billion to Rs 12 billion.

Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht announced this in his budget speech during Punjab Assembly session here Monday. He added that in addition, Programme for Economic Stimulus and Growth worth Rs 10 billion would also be launched in the upcoming fiscal year. He mentioned that Rs 3.5 billion had been earmarked for the projects, which were at completion stages and those projects included Allama Iqbal Industrial Park Faisalabad, industrial estates in Bahawalpur and Sialkot, and Quaid-i-Azam Business Park Sheikhupur etc. while, promotion of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) was being focused as Rs 1.3 billion would be provided for Small Industrial Estate at Gujrat, Rs 1.7 billion for Surgical City Sialkot, and with the cooperation of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Sialkot Tannery Zone was being established at a cost of Rs 500 million for which a grant of Rs 350 million had been set aside in the FY 2021-22. Punjab government, he said, was also providing soft loans with total worth of Rs 10 billion.

In an effort to control prices of essential items for the ease of common man, Punjab government had set up 362 Sahulat Bazaars in various districts of Punjab, he said, asserting that a Model Bazaar Authority was also being established that would set up model bazaars in all big cities of the province and funds of Rs 1.5 billion had been allocated for the purpose.

Since youth comprise 65 percent of the total population of Pakistan and had great potential, they would be provided with all resources enabling them to play an active role in country’s development, he vowed.

Hashim mentioned that an important project ‘Improving Work Force Readiness in Punjab’ was being launched with the assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB) to impart technical education to 40,000 students and a hefty grant of Rs 17 billion would be provided for the project. Similarly, Punjab government would start ‘Skilling Youth for Income Generation Project’ worth Rs 9 billion, while Hunnarmand Nojawan Programme would also continue in next financial year.

Hashim said that acquiring own house was a great problem for low-income class of the society however PTI government had since its inception been focusing this segment and taking effective measures for their wellbeing.

In next FY, he added, Punjab government would continue to execute Peri Urban Housing Scheme under which a house unit would be available at as low price as Rs 1.4 million to the poor families. Punjab government was also providing Rs 3 billion for infrastructural development, Rs one billion to HUD&PHE Department for Naya Pakistan Housing Programme under which 35,000 new housing units would be constructed.

He said that Rs 30 billion had been allocated to provide modern infrastructures and civil amenities in the cities.

The provincial government with the assistance of World Bank, he mentioned, would initiative a comprehensive project worth Rs 86 billion for provision of clean drinking water to 100 rural population; solid waste management and drainage facilities in 16 most underprivileged tehsils of Punjab.

Finance Minister maintained that Waste Water Treatment Plants would be installed in five big cities including Lahore and Faisalabad with a cost of more than Rs 5 billion, adding that Punjab Aab-e-Pak Authority had also been established for provision of clean drinking water to rural and far-flung areas.