Lahore – Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Jawan Bakhat Hashim said that the Govt. was committed to bringing change to the lowest level of the society and this could be achieved through micro financing.

He was speaking at third Islamic Micro Finance Conference organized by Akhuwat Foundation. He said that both federal and provincial governments were promoting the Islamic micro financing for poverty eradication and economic stability. He said that the Punjab government started interest free loans for agriculture sector in collaboration with Akhuwat Foundation while number of areas was still missing where potential of micro financing exists. He said the Punjab government will welcome the Islamic micro finance network for poverty eradication program.

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Meanwhile, the minister instructed the Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMA) to prepare financial structure of the authority along with existing operational structure, as the government doesn’t want to put extra burden of subsidy on it nor want to shift it to public.

He said that the subsidy travel on metro busses will continue but unaccounted subsidy will be checked as the government will not allow anyone to misuse public tax money.

Chairing a rationalization meeting of metro bus services here on Tuesday, he asked the PMA to come up with the options of rationalizations of buses, advertisement and other commercial activities at metro buses stations and feeder and metro buses to reduce burden of subsidy from provincial exchequer.

The minister asked the PMA to come up all type of proposals to increase the revenue stream of the PMA and highlighted the commercial activities under legal framework to engage the private sector in it.

Additional Secretary Finance Ubaid-ur-Rehman briefed the meeting the Punjab government was subsidizing the metro buses operation, besides other transport sector including Lahore Transport Company (LTC). The government allocated Rs 12.9 billion for PMA for subsidies. Furthermore, the government was subsidizing Lahore and Multan metro routes by 70 percent and feeder routes by 90 percent. He said increase in fare and exploiting new potential for revenue generation stream for transport sector, especially for PMA was unavoidable.