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Punjab Govt Focused Social Sector In Budget Amid Covid-19 Crisis: Bakht

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LAHORE– Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht Friday said that no discrimination was made with any of the city in the provincial budget 2020-21 while social sector investment was unavoidable in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and Lahore is on the top of the list for the allocations made for protection of corona virus.

He said the development authorities were established for infrastructure development while those didn’t add a single general hospital in Lahore for the last two decades should not teach the government where to invest.

He said how rulers can give priority to orange line metro train in a province where four patients were laying on a single bed in the hospitals. He believed that if hospitals were given equal importance likewise infrastructure development projects than the situation to control the covid-19 was altogether different.

The minister talking to the media after the assembly session on Friday said that the current government activated the Lahore and other development authorities of the province for the infrastructure development projects, besides promoting the public private partnership for the infrastructure projects.

He said the construction of the Southern loop of Lahore Ring Road through PPP with Rs 10 billion was already approved. He said work on state of the art public hospital announced in the budget 2019-20 will be started in the next budget 2020-21. Further, working on the missing facilities in the hospitals was already started before the budget.

The minister said that the information technology was progressed ahead from distribution of laptops and the government will announce a better scheme once it control the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the introduction of modern technology in education was the manifesto of the PTI government and the government will initiate work on the universities announced in the budget 2019-20 in fiscal year 2020-21.

The minister said that situation created after Covid-19 was new for the world and Pakistan too while the past practices to control the pandemic did not work for it. In such scenario change in the government decisions was in accordance with the changing situation to protect the life and economic loss of the public. He said unemployment and restrictions for doing business will not only cause the economic issues but also the social issues and affect the private lives of the public.

He urged the opposition to support the government for creation of awareness and adoption of covid-19 SOPS among the public instead of doing politics on the issues.— HANDOUT