LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif held a four hours’ long videoconference from London to review the forthcoming budget and salient features of Annual Development Programme (ADP). The chief minister, while addressing the meeting, affirmed that speedy development of the province and provision of basic amenities to the people is the top priority of the government, adding that like previous years, public welfare programmes worth billions of rupees would continue unabated. He said that more funds as compared to the past would be allocated for the provision of facilities in education, health and other social sectors.The CM said that billions of rupees would be spent for the welfare of people during next financial year and special attention would be paid to the development of rural and backward areas. “A project of provision of clean drinking water to the citizens will be completed speedily and in a transparent manner, in line with international standards. The government is custodian of every penny of the public and all resources are being utilised for the welfare of the people,” he added. The chief minister ordered the concerned officers that Annual Development Programme should reflect public aspirations and ensure provision of basic amenities to the people at their doorstep. He said development projects should be completed on priority basis during the next fiscal year, as the government envisions facilitating masses besides bringing improvement in the living standards of a common man.He directed the officials that to complete the ongoing public welfare schemes on priority basis so that people could be provided relief soon, adding that timely completion of public welfare schemes is of utmost necessity. “Funds of billions of rupees saved by curtailing non-developmental expenditure and maintaining policy of austerity are also being spent on the projects of provision of basic amenities to the masses. Energy projects will be completed speedily due to which darkness will be removed from the country by 2018,” Shahbaz added. He said that Punjab government has taken revolutionary steps for the empowerment of youth, adding that thousands of youth have been made skillful through Skill Development Company and special steps would also be taken in the next budget for equipping millions of youth with vocational education. The chief minister said a big programme is continuing successfully for the provision of modern and dignified transport facilities to the citizens.“After the success of metro bus service in Lahore and Rawalpindi-Islamabad, Metro Bus Project is in the final stages in Multan. The project has proven to be a milestone in the infrastructure sector,” the CM added.He further said that work is also continuing speedily on the Orange Line Metro Train project and its completion would change the transport culture in the country. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah from Commissioner Office in Faisalabad, Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha from Punjab House Islamabad, Zakat and Usher Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran, MPA Mansha Ullah Butt and concerned officials from Chief Minister’s Secretariat, whereas Advisor on Health Kh Salman Rafique, chief secretary, planning and development chairman and concerned secretaries participated in the conference from civil secretariat through video link.