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Billions wasted in Punjab: Pakistan's Deputy PM
Publication Date : 18-02-2013
Pakistan's Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi said on Sunday that billions of rupees belonging to the poor people of Punjab had been frittered away on ‘ill-conceived and useless schemes’ by the Shahbaz Sharif government.
Addressing a big public meeting at the Talagang Government Degree College, the provincial Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q)'s chief, who is set to contest election for the National Assembly constituency NA-61 (Chakwal II), mentioned the major development projects launched when he was the chief minister of Punjab, and said he would change the fate of the people of the area after coming into power.
The public meeting, apparently held in an attempt to regain PML-Q’s lost ground in the district and woo the voters for the general election, was attended by local leaders of the party as well as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Hurling at the Punjab government allegations of wrongdoing in the affairs of the Metro Bus Service, he said: “Such massive corruption has been done for the first time.”
Mr Elahi said that 70 billion Pakistani rupees (US$712.6 million) from the public exchequer had been squandered on a small, 27-kilometre road in Lahore. “Rules and regulations have also been violated in this major scam,” he alleged.
“The chief minister has four bullet-proof vehicles and has appointed a number of police personnel for his own and his family’s security and yet he does not hesitate to describe himself as ‘Khadim-i-Aala’ (the grand servant).”
Referring to the Pakistan Muslim League-N’s ongoing bid to bring politicians of rival parties into its fold, he said in a comic way that the Sharif brothers could not digest their food “unless they took a few ‘lotay’ (turncoats) at breakfast”.
“The PML-N has turned Punjab into a quagmire of problems,” he said.
He said he had left 100 billion Pakistani rupees in the provincial exchequer but now it had been rendered empty because of poor policies and the government was hardly able to pay its employees their salary.
*US$1=98.2 Pakistani rupees