LAHORE, June 29 (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said that Punjab government had given the biggest development budget in the history of the province and this balanced budget would change the destiny of the masses.

Talking to a delegation of assembly members belonging to PML-N here,
he said that record funds of Rs 550 billion had been allocated under
Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the next fiscal year. He also congratulated the MPAs over the conduct of budget session of Punjab Assembly in an excellent manner and approval of provincial budget for the year 2016-17.

The Chief Minister said that provincial government had earmarked
billions of rupees for the progress and prosperity of the people of
Punjab and implementation of the biggest ADP reflected government priorities to raise people’s living standard. The ADP would usher in a new era of progress as billions of rupees had been allocated for uplift of backward areas and more resources had been allocated like the previous years in the new budget for the welfare programmes of South Punjab.

The Chief Minister said that a positive change would be brought in
the lives of the people through implementation of development schemes under the ADP. He said that utilization of billions of rupees for education, health, agriculture and social sectors would result in development of these sectors.

Shehbaz Sharif said that a splendid package had also been given for the uplift of agriculture and prosperity of cultivators, adding that decrease in the prices of Urea, DAP and tariff rate for agri tube-wells, besides the programme of provision of interest-free loans would benefit the farmers. Facilities were being given to cultivators on priority basis for making up their losses due to recession at international level.

The Chief Minister said the new budget reflected durable development,
strong economy and balanced development of all areas, asserting that measures proposed in the new budget would result in poverty alleviation and minimizing gap between the rich and the poor.

He mentioned that implementation of a big programme for repair and
rehabilitation of rural roads would result in progress of rural economy.

He said that supply of potable water to people living in villages would be ensured through Saaf Pani Project worth Rs 30 billion.

Referring to the efforts for eliminating energy crisis, the Chief
Minister said that a lot of work had been done for overcoming this problem so as to ensure speedy development and promotion of economic and social activities and efforts were being made round the clock for this purpose under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

He said that early solution of energy problem was priority of the government and it was working on various power projects based on gas, coal, solar energy and hydel power. He said that completion of several energy projects would result in addition of thousands of megawatts electricity in the national grid.

The Chief Minister said that Punjab government had completed the only project of power generation from solar energy in the history of the country with its own resources. He said that work was also being carried out on solar power project of 900 megawatt at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park and it would start producing 300 megawatts electricity within next few days. He said that federal and Punjab governments were also working on gas-based energy projects of 3600 megawatts. He said that PML-N government would honor the promise of removing darkness from the country and completion of power projects would result in elimination of load-shedding and availability of cheap electricity.