LAHORE: The Punjab Finance Department has released Rs47 billion for 3,605 development projects under the District Development Programme across the province for the financial year 2021/22.
This release is part of the District Development Package of Rs360 billion announced earlier this year by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, as part of a balanced district development strategy to redress the grievances of all districts on equitable grounds.
Commenting on equitable distribution of funds, Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht said: “The government is pursuing a development agenda based on equitable growth for all districts throughout the province. The District Development Programme is at the core of addressing inequality of opportunities for the less-developed districts not only in terms of social inclusion, but also at bringing them at par with the rest of the province.”
“Urban centres are also not discriminated against and Lahore as they get 234 projects under this programme.”
Of the top 10 districts with the highest uplift projects, seven are from South Punjab, where the indicators for poverty, health, education and infant mortality have been dismal, he said.
Moreover, the District Development Package dispenses off the widely held perception that large budgetary allocations are concentrated in specific areas only.
Finance secretary Iftikhar Ali Sahoo said that all the projects were identified after a comprehensive and inclusive process.
“Recommendations from a wide range of stakeholders at the district level were taken into account, setting out a more inclusive and evidence-based approach towards allocating funds for these projects at the grassroots level,’’ he added.