Projects like Orange Line were initiated for personal publicity: Punjab finance minister
LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakhat on Wednesday said that PTI government’s first budget showed the real picture of province’s economic situation.
Addressing the post budget press conference in Lahore, the minister said that the Punjab’s development plan for next five years was being prepared keeping in view the factors including provision of basic amenities to the masses of food, education, health, employment and ‘Apna Ghar’ (own home).
The minister maintained that the other major aspect of ‘change’ was promotion of the industry and expansion of trade, which was possible through ease of doing Business, public-private partnership, control over expenditures and reformation of tax collection system.
Answering a question, Jawan Bakht said that in past, costly programmes were initiated in the name of development which were actually meant for personal publicity of the former rulers, citing that the claimant of ‘public service’ (PML-N government) had termed ‘Orange Line Metro Train’ as their pride but the project has now become a burden.
“The former government declared that OLMT would cost Rs165billion, now almost Rs250billion have been spent and the project is still incomplete,” said the minister.
He, however, added that the PTI government would complete this economically non-viable project, since the past government had wasted billions of rupees of public exchequer on the OLMT.
Provincial Finance Minister assured that PTI government would not resort to initiate mere cosmetic developmental programmes but make outcome-oriented and evidence-based planning so that people could realize and enjoy the fruit of ‘real change’.
Hashim Jawan Bakht presented an over Rs2.026trillion budget for remaining eight months of fiscal year 2018-19 on Tuesday.
The provincial finance minister had lamented that the previous government’s corruption and shortsightedness resulted in a financial crisis which forced the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to present a “corrective budget”.
He had said that the PML-N government allocated only Rs144billion for education and health while Rs165billion were allocated only for “Orange Line Metro Train” in the past year but PTI’s priorities are different.