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LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Wednesday directed the administration to take immediate measures for extending maximum relief and provision of quality services to the people.

During the meeting, political, administrative affairs of the province and development projects were discussed. The PM directed that extending relief to the people should be the priority of the government. He also issued directions to protect the rights, lives and property of the people and to take stern action against the encroachers, holders and miscreants.

On the occasion, the CM apprised the premier about developmental projects being carried out across the province. Matters pertaining to civil administration and law and order were also discussed in the meeting. The premier directed strict monitoring to ensure timely completion of all development projects. Sources claimed that matters regarding expansion of Punjab Cabinet were also discussed.

Punjab Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal and Inspector General Punjab Rao Sardar Ali Khan were also present.

On the other hand, the elevated expressway project has been approved by the cabinet standing committee for finance and development, which also sanctioned Rs 60 billion along with the inclusion of the project in the annual development program.

Corrupt elements stand nowhere, says CM Buzdar

In this regard, the CM stated that PM Imran Khan would soon lay the foundation stone of this project to be constructed from the Main Boulevard Gulberg to Motorway M2 to ensure easy access to the motorway. This modern road facility would reduce the traffic congestion on canal and Multan roads, he added.

In view of the growing population of Lahore, such public-friendly projects are imperative to accommodate the rising number of road users, he maintained. It would prove to be a game-changer initiative to reduce traffic pressure by up to 65 per cent on busy roads of the provincial metropolis. The past rulers started projects on personal likes and dislikes while ignoring the basic needs of the people of Lahore, the CM said.

Moreover, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill told the media outside the Chief Minister Office during Prime Minister’s daylong visit that when the PTI came into the power, the economy was in a state of bankruptcy, but now the situation is improving. He said that the country’s economy was stable, as the current growth rate is 5.3 percent while the foreign exchange reserves have reached US 22 billion dollars. All major industries, including textile and construction, have experienced boom in the recent years under the PTI government, he added.

When asked about Jahangir Khan Tareen, he said that he (Tareen) had not spoken publicly against the party or Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“We are in contact with them,” he added. However, he said the critics should deal with the political matters on facts. To a query, he said that increase in the size of the cabinets will enhance productivity of the government, adding that the announcement of new portfolios was not for political gains but public welfare.

Criticising the opposition, he said it was set to face more challenges as more looted public money was being unearthed by government institutions in near future.

“An amount of Rs 550 billion had already been recovered and the recovered money would be utilized to provide more facilities to the masses,” he said.

“The PML-N leadership must be thanked for making paupers and poor employees billionaires; Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz drew billions of rupees from the bank accounts of Maqsood, a peon”. Gill was of the view that medals should be awarded to the PML-N leaders for changing the plight of common peons through their corrupt practices. It is strange that the ill-gotten money was transferred to the bank accounts without knowledge of the account-holders, he added.

The SAPM said that the opposition leaders have once again joined hands to protect their corruption and avoid accountability. Both the PPP and PML-N leaders were foes in the past but they have become friends today to protect themselves, he said.

He said that Maryam Nawaz was silent as her cousin and uncle were being indicted and the fear of indictment had brought all the opposition leaders together. He praised Federal Minister for Water Resources Chaudhry Moonis Elahi and said that the scion of Chaudhrys of Gujrat acted very wisely and distanced his party from the opposition’s claims. To a query, he said that the government has to increase the prices of petroleum products as per the trend in the international market. He hoped that the petroleum prices would decrease in few months.

He further said that Nawaz Sharif would have to go to prison. He added that the opposition may first complete the number and then bring no-confidence motion. He also said that the PM will also meet the Assembly members to discuss important issues.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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