Senior adviser to chief minister Sirdar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa has said in order to address the economic and social challenges, the Punjab government is implementing a development strategy predicated upon key objectives of inclusive worth, poverty reduction and employment generation. He expressed these views while meeting a delegation of Royal College of Defence Studies UK, headed by Desmond Vowen, here on Saturday. The delegation comprised military officers from UK, Brazil, Germany, Norway and Canada. The Senior Advisor said the government was making massive investment in social sector that is education and health to realize the demographic dividend (46 per cent of the development outlay) infrastructure development like communications and irrigation (40 per cent of the development outlay) and production sectors, that is, agriculture and livestock (5 per cent of the development outlay).
He further stated that some of the pro-poor initiatives undertaken by the government in the field of education, health and social safety nets include: Institutions for providing quality education to the poor with boarding and lodging facilities, Daanish School System has started work in Chishtian (Bahawalnagar), Hasilpur (Bahawalpur), Chak 82-P (Rahim Yar Khan) whereas next focus is on Rajanpur, DG Khan, Attock and Mianwali. “For the establishment of Daanish Schools, lands surrendered by big land owners in the land reforms, will be given over to these schools as endowment to ensure a smooth functioning of the schools, no matter which party/parties from the government,” he mentioned, while highlighting the intervention of the government on education sector, the Advisor said computer labs had been set up in 4500 schools. “Recruitment of 44,000 teachers and appointment of all Vice Chancellors of universities have also been made on merit. In addition to that vocational training have been introduced in 1050 high schools and Punjab Education Endowment Fund has been provided funds of Rs 4b for the distribution of scholarships among position holder students.”Khosa said the strategic focus of the development programme was to accelerate economic growth, generate employment and reduce poverty. “Improving the coverage and quality of social services, rehabilitating and expending necessary infrastructure, enhancing productivity and competitiveness of economic sectors, such as agriculture, livestock and industry, provision of enabling environment for private sector development remain our major objectives,” he enlisted.