LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif has declared to renounce power and join the masses if corruption and plundering of resources was not stopped and the situation failed to improve. He said that justice, merit and transparency were hallmarks of the Punjab government, adding that their implementation was evident in execution of public projects worth billions of rupees in Punjab during the last four years.

He said this while addressing a gathering at the Alhamra Arts Council on Tuesday for computerised balloting being carried out to select 5,000 youth in the second phase of Khadim-e-Punjab Yellow Cab Scheme (YCS).

Shahbaz said the balloting for YCS was being held in a highly transparent manner, which will result in provision of honourable job opportunities to the deserving and low-income educated youth as well as availability of excellent transport facilities to the masses.
He said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had always upheld merit, be it the recruitment of 38,000 educators or 32,000 science teachers. Similarly, he said, merit was the sole criterion for recruitment of police constables, distribution of laptops among the students and provision of educational scholarships through the endowment fund.

He said that the PML-N government had provided quality public transport to the masses in the form of air-conditioned Daewoo bus service 13 years ago, however, the process of development was interrupted by “daku raj during which banks were robbed and nothing was done for the masses”.

Nevertheless, he said the PML-N had once again arranged a modern and environment-friendly transport service for the public. He added that a modern public transport service would also be launched in Rawalpindi, Multan, Bahawalpur and Faisalabad within the next two months.

“The Punjab government is being victimised and the departments devolved under the 18th Amendment have not been given to the province,” the CM said, adding that the passage of 20th Amendment would not be allowed until the province was given its due rights.
Provincial Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman delivered the welcome speech, whereas provincial minister Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor, MPAs, Punjab Bank chairman and prominent personalities from different walks of life were also present on the occasion.

Separately, the CM also presided over a high-level meeting held at the CM’s Secretariat to review the pace of progress on the agreements signed between the Punjab government and Turkey for cooperation in energy, transport, solid waste management, construction and other sectors.

Provincial minister Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor, MPAs Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmad, Hafiz Mian Nauman, the Planning & Development chairman, secretaries of various departments, the commissioner, Lahore district coordination officer (DCO) and other officers concerned were present during the meeting.

Secretaries of various departments and the commissioner informed the meeting about their visit to Turkey and the pace of progress on the joint ventures between Turkey and Punjab. The participants also gave their proposals regarding these projects. The meeting also reviewed the projects of Lahore Ring Road Southern Loop and Lahore Bus Rapid Transit System.