Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif presided over a high-level meeting here Sunday which reviewed in detail the new budget and the Annual Development Programme (ADP) for financial year 2015-16. Chairman Planning & Development gave a detailed briefing to the meeting on ADP. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister directed that special attention should be paid to the progress and prosperity of the masses and achievement of targets of strengthening of economy under ADP.

He said that all departments and institutions should ensure utilisation of the development funds within the stipulated period while development projects under ADP should be completed within timeframe. He said that Pakistan Muslim League-N government believes in a balanced development and billions of rupees are being spent on development of rural areas. He said that completion of these projects will raise the living standard of rural masses and modern facilities will also become available to them. He said that under Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Roads Programme, a splendid project worth billions of rupees of construction and rehabilitation of rural roads is running successfully. He said that a huge amount of Rs 15 billion is being spent on this project during current fiscal year and all rural roads of the province will be completed at a cost of more than Rs 150 billion by 2018. He said that this project is of vital importance and it is the first and the biggest project of its kind in the history of the country.

He said that Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Roads Programme is a revolutionary project for the development of rural economy and he is personally monitoring this project. Shahbaz Sharif said that more resources should be allocated in the development budget of new fiscal year for the uplift and prosperity of rural areas. He said that funds are a trust of the masses and transparency in the execution of the projects and their timely completion is of vital importance.

He warned that delay in the implementation of development schemes will not be tolerated. He said that the departments should work actively and vigorously for the achievement of the goals and no effort should be spared for achieving the targets fixed under ADP. The Chief Minister further said that record funds of billions of rupees have been allocated for development projects under ADP.

He said that huge resources have been earmarked for the uplift of the districts of south Punjab. He said that there is a need to work with commitment and in a professional manner for achieving the development targets. He said that the officers utilising development funds timely and within stipulated period will be encouraged while those showing poor performance will be held accountable. The Chief Minister said that an effective system has been evolved with the help of Information Technology regarding the release of development funds and their utilisation.

Shahbaz Sharif further directed that third-party audit policy for development projects should strictly be implemented. Provincial Minister for Finance Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, Advisor Dr. Ijaz Nabi, Member Provincial Assembly Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chief Secretary, Chairman Planning & Development, Senior Member Board of Revenue, concerned secretaries and senior officers were also present in the meeting.