LAHORE Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said special emphasis has been laid in the new provincial budget to the welfare of the poor, provision of health and education facilities and potable water to the masses as well as generation of job opportunities for the youth. The welfare-oriented budget, which reflects the aspirations of the people, has silenced the opponents. Practical measures have been taken for the development of South Punjab and more funds have allocated for this purpose in the next fiscal year than the ratio of population of the region. It has also been decided to release funds in two instalments from the next financial year for the speedy completion of development projects, he said, while addressing Assembly Members of Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan Divisions at CMs Secretariat here on Wednesday. Senior Advisor Sirdar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Ministers Rana Sanaullah Khan, Ahmed Ali Aulakh, Sirdar Dost Muhammad Khan Khosa, Iqbal Channar, Senior Member Board of Revenue, Chairman Planning & Development, secretaries of various departments besides administrative and police officers of DG Khan and Bahawalpur divisions were also present on the occasion. The CM said a solid strategy had been adopted to remove the sense of deprivation of the people of less-developed areas and to bring such areas at par with the developed ones. He said that Punjab government has started a special programme under the name of South Punjab Development Programme for the uplift of this region and a sum of Rs. 10 billion has been allocated for this purpose in the next fiscal year. He said that the project of Daanish schools aimed at provision of modern educational facilities to the children of poorest parents has also been started from these areas. He said that academic activities have started in six Daanish schools set up in Rahim Yar Khan, Hasilpur and Chishtian for boy and girl students while the project of establishing eight more Daanish schools in Mianwali, Attock, Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan is also being implemented expeditiously. Similarly, he said six mobile health units for providing modern health facilities to the people at their doorstep are also operating in this region and 50 more mobile health units will be imported this year. He said that four new medical colleges are being constructed in the province including Dera Ghazi Khan Medical College. He said that Ghazi University for Women will also be established in DG Khan. He said that a 100-bed hospital in Multan and a 400-bed hospital in Bahawalpur are also being constructed which will result in better treatment facilities to the people of these areas. He said that a sum of Rs. 38 crore will be spent on the construction of roads, water supply, livestock and other projects in Cholistan while work on Shadbad Cooperative Livestock Farm Project is also in progress for the development of livestock in Cholistan. The Chief Minister further said that Punjab government has started a comprehensive programme for the speedy development of the province and provision of basic amenities to the masses during next fiscal year. He stressed upon assembly members to ensure corruption-free and timely completion of development projects in their respective areas for the benefit of the people. He said that meetings are being held on regular basis for monitoring law and order situation and the pace of implementation of development projects in all districts so that civic peace could be ensured and uplift schemes could be properly monitored with mutual consultation. He said that officers should become servants of the people in the real sense and take all out measures for the solution of their problems. He said that they should also keep the doors of their offices open to the people for redressing their grievances and pay regular visits to their respective areas. The Chief Minister further said that Punjab government has decided not to receive any foreign aid which violates national sovereignty and honour. He said that though it is a difficult decision but living nations make any sacrifice for their survival. He said that simplicity and austerity will be promoted and indigenous resources will be developed to prove the fact that progress can be made without charity of outsiders. Assembly members paid tributes to Chief Minister on the presentation of an excellent and welfare-oriented budget. They said that budget which is the best in the current circumstances will usher in a new era of progress and prosperity in the province. The elected representatives have paid rich tributes to Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif on the projects for the development of these areas as well as welfare of the people and said that the measures taken by him for the uplift of backward areas of southern Punjab are unprecedented.