The year 2020 can be rightly termed as the most challenging cycle of this century. The impacts of events that happened will be felt in the coming decades as well. The year 2020 was challenging in administrative, social and cultural aspects. In these testing times, only the timely and correct decisions by efficient and clear-headed leadership could steer the country out of the quagmire. MEASURES UNDER Covid: Under the leadership of Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Ahmed Khan, the Government of Punjab has taken such timely and positive decisions during Covid-19 pandemic which have started to yield desired results. The economy of the world is witnessing nose-dive, even the most developed countries like the US and the UK etc could not sustain the negative economic aftermaths of Covid-19. Self-proclaimed “shining” India also gone down where prevalence and mortality rate of Covid-19 is highest among South Asia. Indian economy is collapsed and Hindu supremacist Modi regime is in doldrums but by the grace of Almighty Allah, Pakistan especially Punjab has successfully managed to curtail the damage in time. Preventive measures taken to counter the second spell of Covid-19 are keeping the situation under control and the policy of avoiding non-friendly and anti-public decisions is proving to be positive. In the year 2020, the provincial government led by Sardar Usman Buzdar remained committed and strived for the facilitation of the masses. In the first wave of Covid-19, Punjab took the lead and emerged as a guide for other provinces. During the same period, under CM Insaf Imdad Program, 1.7 million deserving families were given financial aid worth Rs 1.25 billion. Establishment of corona wards in hospitals, provision of medical equipment, quarantine centres, isolation centres etc could only be possible owing to the continuous monitoring and clear directions of the chief minister. Despite serious threats, Usman Buzdar visited different cities to examine the arrangements being made for the protection of the general public and cure of Covid-19 patients. In Covid-19 pandemic, Usman Buzdar proved himself to be worthy of the office of Chief Minister Punjab. He truly emerged as “Wasim Akram Plus.” Usman Buzdar set unprecedented traditions in the year 2020. Contrary to the past, the Buzdar Government did not stop funding the unfinished development projects of the previous government. It is worth mentioning that Rs. 1300 billion were required to complete the unattended projects of the previous government. Orange-Line Metro Train Project was one of those incomplete projects of the past which have been completed for the facilitation of the masses. CM Punjab Usman Buzdar set a new precedent by incorporating the suggestions of all the MPAs of Punjab in the formulation of annual development schemes. Besides, all the MNAs/MPAs of every division were invited for exclusive meetings to seek their suggestions/ recom-mendations. Meetings with MNAs/MPAs of Faisalabad, Sargodha and Multan Division were held on February 03, February 04 and February 11 respectively wherein immediate orders were issued in the light of their suggestions/ recommendations for the development schemes. On 19th February, 2020 MNAs/MPAs and officers of administration called on the CM Punjab. Projects including Model Police Stations, cleanliness drive and construction/renovation of roads were approved. On 20th February, parliamentarians of Bahawalpur Division presented their suggestions and highlighted issues of their areas. Various development projects were approved including the construction of the overhead bridge, underpass, bridge, and connecting roads. MNAs/MPAs of Lahore and Sahiwal divisions met the CM Punjab on 26th February wherein they presented their suggestions/recommendations. Projects like Chichawatni Special Zone, Lahore Ring Road, Southern Loop-III etc were approved. MNAs/MPAs of DG Khan Division held a marathon meeting in March. Wherein flood protection embankment, construction/rehabilitation of Muzaffargarh-Alipur Road, Layyah University, Rojhan Girls College, Qanoongoi Arazi Center, new parks and schemes like water filtration plant were approved. To gauge the ground realities, Mr. Buzdar made more than 54 visits to the big and small cities of Punjab. On January 4, the CM visited Mianwali, Waan Chachran and Sargodha, besides visiting the police station and BHU in Waan Chuchran. He also visited Tehsil Headquarter Hospital and a police station in Jaranwala, Thalassemia and Bone Marrow Transplant Center in Bahawalpur and paid a surprise visit to Koh-e-Suleman followed by addressing Ehsas Kafalat ceremony in Layyah to observe the exact position of the facilities being extended to the public. The provincial government during last year has initiated scores of projects which would result in mitigating the problems of masses to the optional level. HEALTH: Under the stewardship of CM, the provincial government has increased budget of Health Sector to 15 %. 5 Mother & Child Hospitals are being established in Punjab including a 600-bedded hospital at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Lahore. Universal healthcare program is being introduced wherein, 7 million families would be given Sehat Insaf Cards. Scores of development projects in different sectors are being completed with fast pace. Construction of an institute of cardiology is underway in Dera Ghazi Khan. A 1000-bedded general hospital is also being built on Ferozpur road Lahore in which 600 beds will be allocated for general patients, 200 for cardiac patients while 200 beds would be allocated to blood-related diseases. This hospital would be built on LDA’s 124 Kanal land, near Arfa Karim Tower. This project would cost Rs. 9 billion rupees of which the summary has been approved. Work on mother and child care block in Sir Ganga Ram hospital is in progress which will be completed at the cost of Rs.4 billion. Children hospital has been declared University of Child Health Sciences and would be completed at the cost of Rs. 4 billion. The Department of Radiology has been established in Services hospital Lahore of which 95 % of work has been completed. 225 beds have been allocated for this department. This project is completed at the cost of Rs. 232 billion. Punjab Institute of Neuro Sciences phase ii would be completed at the cost of 2.35 billion. Nishtar-ii projects are near completion in Multan. The district headquarters hospitals including Jhang and Toba Tek Singh are being upgraded. Similarly, tehsil headquarters hospitals including Samundri, Malakwal are also being upgraded. Tehsil headquarter hospitals are being built in Fort Monro and Malakwal. 10 years health strategy has been introduced in Punjab for the very first time. Most importantly, doctors and paramedical staff of health department are being vaccinated with Covid vaccines in order to protect them from this pandemic. EDUCATION: Education is on the top priority of Pakistan Tehreek Insaf’s manifesto. Various steps have been taken in the education sector including Punjab literacy and non-formal basic education policy 2019, Punjab special education policy, Punjab Private Educational Institution Ordinance etc. For the very first time, through E-transfer policy, the transfer policy of teachers has been introduced and made transparent missing. Facilities have been upgraded in 1227 schools which is unprecedented. Because of Insaf afternoon schools program rate of drop-out students started decreasing. 9 new special education centres including special education degree colleges in Sargodha and DG Khan are also being established. 42 new degree colleges have been established across the province. 9 new universities including the University of Layyah, University of Bhakkar, University of Chakwal, University of Mianwali, Kohsar University Murree, Thal University Bhakkar, Rawalpindi Women University, Institute of Information Technology Rawalpindi and Baba Guru Nanak University Nankana Sahib are being planned to be built. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has the vision to build a university in every district of the province. Reforms have been introduced in the Danish school system and most importantly, the historic decision has been taken to make Urdu medium of instruction at primary school level. POLICING: The hiring of 10,000 police officials, procurement of 1200 new police vehicles, the establishment of model police stations, allotment of land and construction of new buildings for new police stations, installation of CCTV cameras and establishment of police training college are such initiatives which can’t be overlooked. 1468 posts of senior traffic assistant and traffic assistants are being filled. Murky and obsolete jail system of the province is being revamped. Libraries and adult education centres are being built in 32 jails. Attention is being paid to impart religious and technical education and training along with other facilities to inmates. The complaint box is installed in every jail. It would be unpair it project of national importance. SAFE CITY: The Safe Cities Authority’s system in Lahore is not only being upgraded but also expanded further to other big cities like Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Dera Ghazi Khan. WATER SECTOR: Under Punjab AAB PAK Authority, Rs. 2.5 billion have been allocated to install 820 water filtration plants and similarly, first time with the help of community 1,25,000 toilets were built and 70,000 toilets built by the government. INDUSTRIAL SECTOR: Planning of 13 special economic zones in Punjab is the hallmark of PTI-led government Allama Iqbal Industrial Park has already been inaugurated while Quaid-e-Azam Business Park and other projects are in developing phases. Under the Punjab Employment Scheme, small traders and industrialists were provided with loans worth Rs. 36 billion. Moreover, TEVTA is imparting technical education to provide skilled force to industrial sector. After establishment of Public Private Partnership Authority Sheikhupura-Gujranwala Road, Lahore Ring Road and SL3 projects are being initiated. Similarly, a project of water meters will also be initiated in Lahore. In total, 13 large scale projects are initiated under Public Private Partnership Authority. It is important to mention that, under the business registration portal of the Punjab government, more than 10,000 businessmen have registered themselves to receive numerous benefits as government payments are made online. IRRIGATION: With the completion of Jalalpur canal project, more than 160,000 acres of land would be irrigated while the Greater Thal Canal Chobara Branch would irrigate 294,000 acres of land. Restoration projects of Tarimmu and Panjnad are near to completion which would make water available for nearly 100 years to irrigate agricultural land. To make drinking water available, small dams are being built in Pothohar and Koh-e-Sulaiman regions. Docha Dam in Rawalpindi is also near to completion. Drip irrigation project has been introduced as well to save clean water under surface. Increase in support prices of sugarcane and wheat is the landmark initiative of this present regime. The government ensured 99.9 % to payments of sugarcane farmers for the first time. Moreover with the increase in support price of wheat our farmers would not only grow prosper but would enable government to achieve target of wheat to the optional level in the province. To facilitate the farmers and reduce the production cost, modern agricultural technology is being introduced in Punjab. Silos are also being made to store excess stocks of wheat for future use. Punjab government has introduced various programs and projects and completed many projects. Some of the important projects are as follows: CONSTRUCTION SECTOR: Under NAYA PAKISTAN MANZIL ASAN PROGRAM, 174 schemes of construction and repairing of 1200 km of roads across rural areas of the province are in progress. The second stage of RAP is underway in which construction and maintenance of roads are being carried out. 115 computerized land record centres are also being set up across the province. FORESTATION: Under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami program, 86.0 million saplings have been planted on 800,000 acres of land. In Punjab, efforts are underway to declare various regions free of foot and mouth diseases in animals. To prosper the fishery sector, saline water aqua agriculture research centre and pilot shrimp farming cluster development projects also continue to prosper. Dar ul Amaan in 6 districts and Nasheman in Bahawalpur and Faisalabad is also established. Shelters homes which are already built-in divisional headquarters which further being expanded and food distribution centres are also being established. Under BAHIMAT PROGRAM, more than 6.5 million elderly people would receive pensions. HAMQADAM PROGRAM, MASAWAT, NAI ZINDAGI AND SARPARAST PROGRAMS are also being initiated. IADAP has been further empowered to even carry out construction activities in other provinces as well. Various shrines of our sufi saints Hazrat Ali Hajveri (RA), Mian Meer (RA)and Bibian Pak Daman are upgraded and renovated. Scope of the Walled City of Lahore Project is being extended to other areas as well. In Rawalpindi, apart from upgrading and widening of Nullah Lai, a Ring Road would also be constructed. Solarization of schools and universities has begun. Basic health units would also be converted on solar energy in phases. Under the Naya Pakistan School Solarization Program, solar panels would be installed in 15000 schools. Solarization of 7000 schools has been completed. The digitalization of various departments is underway for good governance in the province. To facilitate high-rise buildings and other constructions, the LDA Building Laws have been introduced. New by-laws have been introduced in Murree as well to promote tourism and attract more investment in construction sector. The first tourism policy for the province has also been put forth. The policy to open various tourist spots, water sports and government rest houses for the public is being implemented. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar chaired the board meetings for various government institutions including Rescue 1122 and made important decisions. He also headed various meetings of the apex committee for monitoring corona and law and order situation in consultation with other members and took major decisions in the public interest. 7th August, 2020 was a historic day when the foundation stone of Ravi Riverfront Urban Development project was laid down. Orange line metro was inaugurated in October along with the inauguration of Bab-e-Lahore Pakistan at Thokar Niaz Beg entry point. Insaf Medicine Card Scheme was launched at the end of the year for free distribution of life-saving medicine to the patients with life-threatening diseases. Under the scheme, patients suffering from Aids, cases of tuberculosis and other deadly diseases will get medicines free of cost. Sahulat bazaars and holding of open revenue kutcheries are also landmark initiatives of Punjab government. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar announced to celebrate a Shan-e-Rehmatul Lilalemeen week to show respect to the lofty personality of our beloved Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Under the aegis of the information and culture department, various events were held including mehfil-e-sama, calligraphy exhibitions based on the artworks of the Last Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s holy names entitled ‘Moujiza-e-fun.’ The tunes of famous Qawalis and Na’ats were also presented on the floats. Similarly, a video based on holy names was also released. During the week of Rahmatullil Aalameen, various competitions for qira’at, na’at and debates were held at schools, colleges and universities. Na’at poetry competitions, seerat conferences, induction of Rahmatallil Aalameen Chair and documentary film competitions were a part of week-long activities. The PTI government is committed to the development of all areas and cities, unlike the previous regime. The Chief Minister visited various cities and announced development projects worth billions of rupees. The foundation stones for various development projects were laid down in dozens of cities including Faisalabad, Multan, Sargodha, Chakwal, Pakpattan, Mailsi, Wah, Taunsa, Rajanpur, Layyah, Rawalpindi where the work is going on speedily. Development projects worth Rs.140 billion in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank are being started for Sialkot and Sahiwal. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar is hopeful that these projects will move forward as per the timelines and he is committed to supervising these projects personally. Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar chaired the 41st meeting of the provincial cabinet and approved the procedure of flats’ allotment in LDA City Naya Pakistan Apartments under Section 19 of management and transfer of properties of Development Authorities Act 2014. The meeting authorized the LDA to enter into an agreement with Bank of Punjab for the project as 4000 apartments will be constructed in the first phase. A flat would cost around Rs.2.7 million and 50 per cent quota will be reserved for the general public. 20 per cent share will be held for provincial government employees, 10 per cent for federal government employees and another 20 per cent quota will be allocated to LDA officials. The CM directed to reserve special quota for journalists and lawyers as well. The meeting approved to upgrade low-grade employees of the civil secretariat and decided to promote drivers, auto-electricians, mechanics and despatch-riders in next grade. This will facilitate more than 11 thousand low-grade employees. Approval of the 200-bed mother & child hospital at the venue of old grain market godown in Multan was accorded along with the release of Rs 500 million. Provincial Cabinet also approved to establish two new cement plants in DG Khan and Mianwali and the CM directed to further expedite the issuance of NOCs to pending applications. It was decided to constitute a high-level committee to reconsider the regularization scheme of Katchi Abadis with the direction to submit comprehensive recommendations. The law department was directed to review matters pertaining to Punjab Consolidation of Holdings Ordinance 1960 to submit recommendations for early completion of the consolidation process. The cabinet also approved the establishment of the provincial drug monitoring team and draft Punjab Hepatitis Rules. Amendments in Pakistan Travel Agency Act 1976 and draft of Punjab Museum Act 2021 were also approved along with the approval of terms and conditions for the posts of registrar and controller of examinations of government universities. Alongside, approval to amend the Punjab Police Department (Ministerial Posts) Rules 2017 was given for the change in eligibility criterion of stenographers. The meeting decided to enhance the registration and renewal fee of private wildlife breeding farms and approved an amendment in the Forest Act and Punjab Urban and Peri-urban Forest Policy 2020. Similarly, the cabinet authorized Infrastructure Development Authority Punjab to work on development projects in Islamabad on a fast-track basis. It was further approved to implement MTI Act in Mayo Hospital and King Edward Medical College along with the approval of amendment in the Punjab Medical Teaching Institutions (Reforms) Amendment Act 2020. The cabinet constituted a committee to review and submit its recommendations relating to the leasing out of state land to Multan Gymkhana. The meeting was also briefed about the agriculture department’s performance and a ministerial committee was constituted for facilitating the farmers. This committee, comprising of agri. experts, will submit its final recommendations to the cabinet.