Strengthening South Punjab – How the provincial government is moving in the right direction
It is a common perception that thickly populated South Punjab has always been ignored in Punjab budgets. Every politician targets this part of Punjab in particular by saying if they are elected, they will change the fate of this part of the province that has been neglected altogether.The claims made by these political parties are bit long to mention here so keeping it precise, politicians have deliberately targeted southern Punjab for their own political scorings. They have convinced people that people are in problem and their only solution lies with these parties being in power.
According to Robin S Sharma, “Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.” Can we say this definition is true for ShehbazShareef? After analyzing his performance for past few years I assume it is safe to say ‘Yes’.
The Punjab government had allocated Rs213 billion in the provincial budget for several development projects in South Punjab in current fiscal year. While inaugurating Rs5.5 bn worth of health projects in Multan, the Chief Minister Punjab said that “the resources have been utilized to serve humanity and the same will be done in future as well. Our focus on the development of South Punjab is resulting in huge transformation of this area.”
The CM inaugurated Government Shehbaz Sharif District Headquarters Hospital and later moved to the new block of the Children Hospital and Institute of Child Health in which 150 beds were increased. He also inaugurated a state-of-the-art burn unit at Nishtar Hospital and regional blood centre, along with the Multan Institute of Kidney Diseases which is the largest of its kind in the whole of southern Punjab. He also inaugurated a blood testing laboratory, medicine warehouse and cold chain store.
After the inauguration of DHQ Hospital, he went to different sections, wards and inquired after the health of patients. He also inspected different sections, wards, operation theatres and various medical facilities provided to patients in children hospital Multan.
With reforms from healthcare to education and infrastructure, every aspect is being taken care of. “Punjab is reforming its schools at a pace rarely seen anywhere in the world,” The Economist stated in a report a few days back. “The Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) oversees some of the largest school-privatisation and school-voucher programmes in the world. It has a seat with the ministers and administrators at Mr Sharif’s quarterly meetings. The Punjab government no longer opens new schools; all growth is via these privately operated schools. Schools overseen by PEF now teach more than 3m children (an additional 11m or so remain in ordinary government-run schools),” it adds.
Talking about Energy projects, Shehbaz said “Savings of billions of rupees have been made in all the energy projects. The PML-N government is an example of its own with regard to transparency and I invite all to examine these projects again and again. You will not find any corruption, even of a single penny, in them. On the other hand, we have made a saving of Rs. 100 billion in these projects.”
Numerous other projects have been completed and some are underway including Khadim-e-Punjab SaafPani Programme , Dualization of KhanewalLodhran Road, Establishment of Safe Cities at Multan and Bahawalpur, Khadim-e-Punjab Rural Roads Programme, Revamping of all DHQ Hospitals / THQ Hospitals, Khadim-e-Punjab Ujala Programme, Establishment of University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at Bahawalpur, Establishment of Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture, Multan (Phase II), Establishment of Khawaja Farid University of Engineering and Information Technology (UEIT) R.Y. Khan, Expansion of CPE Institute of Cardiology, Multan (Construction of New OPD & Inpatient Block) and many more for southern Punjab.
The healthcare system influences one’s ability to participate in the global economy. As much as health is a blessing, it can become a nightmare for the affectee and the family alike, hence provision of healthcare is crucial for any society to flourish and produce the best for oneself, for family and society in general. People are becoming rational and instead of sit-ins and slogans, want practical solutions to the existing problems. With the current services and the ones that are in pipeline, it is safe to say that the biggest province of the country is moving in the right direction.