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EXCLUSIVE: Punjab Exchequer Funds Worth Rs 55.35 Billion Exploited For Nawaz Sharif’s Name And Fame

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LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to name 9 development projects worth approximately Rs 55.35 billion after former premier and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif at the behest of Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz, The Scoop (TS) has learnt.

Sources privy to this development confirmed to TS that a cabinet meeting is scheduled for April 30, during which approval is also expected to be given for the release of Rs 10 billion for the Nawaz Sharif Information Technology University.

A senior official working at the Civil Secretariat maintained that those nine development projects, which would be named after the former premier, span education, health, and sports sectors, with their combined estimated costs totaling Rs 55.35 billion.

“This huge amount of National exchequer funds will be spent for personal promotion and fame of the former premier,” a senior official feared.

“These projects include the Nawaz Sharif Medical College in Gujrat, the Nawaz Sharif Institute of Cardiology in Sargodha, the Nawaz Sharif Institute of Cancer in Lahore, the University of Engineering and Technology in Multan, the Nawaz Sharif Information Technology City in Lahore, the Nawaz Sharif Astroturf Stadium in Sialkot, a Hockey Stadium in Sialkot, the THQ Hospital, and a road at Chobra Layyah,” a senior official told TS.

The senior official maintained that a large chunk of this cost, approximately Rs 30 billion, will be spent at Lahore’s cancer hospital.

Political insiders who belong to the inner circle of Maryam Nawaz Sharif shared that the main purpose behind naming these projects after the former premier is to make the party’s supreme leader popular among youth and to regain the lost ground and political capital, especially in Punjab.

‘Naming projects after Nawaz Sharif might fire back’

Sources maintained that naming such significant development projects for the name and fame of the former premier might fire back and bring a bad name to the PML-N, which is already in trouble and facing backlash from the masses due to rising inflation and ongoing protests by farmers across the province.

They maintained that the Punjab government is already providing a Ramazan Nigheban Package to 6 million families from Rs 30 billion, and it features Nawaz Sharif’s picture, which has also attracted backlash for the party.

A senior official at the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), who will be part of the April 30 cabinet meeting, told TS that these projects are slated for completion within two years and have been included in the annual development program to ensure that the tendering process is completed within the current financial year.

Nawaz Sharif all set to become party president again

Sources maintained that naming the projects after Nawaz Sharif is the attempt towards making the party popular amongst youth and to regain the lost political capital. In the second phase, Nawaz Sharif will become the President of the party again and will devise a plan to revive the party and come up with a new narrative.

 

Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi is an award-winning digital, print, and broadcast investigative journalist who is the co-founder of The Scoop. He also hosts his web shows 'The Scoop' and 'The Hassan Naqvi Show'.

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