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LAHORE: Punjab Caretaker Local Government Minister Ibrahim Murad has directed for optimum utilisation of foreign loans extended by international financial institutions for different development programmes in order to uplift the living conditions of the masses.

He expressed these view while talking to officials of Punjab Intermediate Cities Improvement Investment Programme (PICIIP) on Thursday. Hamza Salik, Project Director of the Programme, briefed the minister about the scope of programme and projects being executed by it in different cities of Punjab.

The minister said that the poor people of Pakistan were the actual owners of these funds as they have to return these loans through their taxes. The loans received for development projects must be used with honesty, transparency and without wastage, he added.

He averred that the projects under completion with these funds must be finished at the earliest to avoid hike in the cost of construction, resulting in added burden of loans for the people.

He directed that work on projects being undertaken under PICIIP at a cost of Rs 72 billion, released from the Asian Development Bank, must be geared up.

These projects were of key importance to improve the quality of life of the people and should be completed at the earliest so that the citizens could benefit from the fruits of development.

Murad directed to improve the water supply and sanitation system in Sahiwal and Sialkot under this programme besides implementing plans for establishing parks in these cities on a priority basis.

The project director informed the minister that under this programme, Rs 2 billion were being spent for the improvement of water supply system in Sahiwal, Rs 6 billion for the improvement of sewage system, Rs 242 million for the construction and repair of roads, Rs 100 million for the waste water treatment plant and Rs 150 million for up-gradation of parks.

Similarly, Rs 1.14 billion were being spent on improvement of water supply system in Sialkot, Rs 6 billion on improvement of sewage system, Rs 183 million on waste water treatment plant and Rs 308 million on upgradation of parks, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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