Eight socio-economic projects of Rs 5.6 bn to be implemented under CPEC framework

ISLAMABAD, Aug 1 (APP):Punjab Government has proposed eight projects in education, health, and agriculture sectors to be included in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Socio-Economic Development Framework worth of around Rs 5.6 billion.

Under the framework, five new schools would be established in the province at Tehsil levels at a cost of Rs 800 million which would be equipped with smart classrooms including smart interactive white boards, multimedia equipment, computer equipment, table computer for learning, teaching furniture projects and printers.
Once launched, the project is estimated to be completed within one year, sources in Punjab Planning and Development Board said.

Under the Socio-Economic Development Framework, China had agreed to provide Pakistan a grant of $1 billion for initiating various projects across the country specially in under developed areas.
In another project, Punjab Tianjin University of Technology Lahore would be upgraded at a cost of Rs 642 million by provision of machinery and equipment besides a faculty exchange programme would also be established under the project.

In health sector, three projects have been proposed including establishment of burn unit, Bahawalpur at a cost of Rs 775 million, revamping and modernizing tertiary healthcare facilities at a cost of Rs 1.66 billion and revamping specialized healthcare system at district level at a cost of Rs 800 million.

Similarly in Agriculture sector a joint cotton research laboratory would be established in Multan at a cost of Rs 186 million. The project will help in improving the productivity of the agriculture sector by increasing cotton cultivation area and production. It will also help in development of climate resilient cotton varieties that will ensure reliability and productivity.
The project will help farmers by lowering the need to invest in insecticides and pesticides and will help alleviate poverty in rural Punjab.

Under the framework, oil laboratory in Faisalabad would be strengthened to assist research activities regarding rapeseed crop. The project will be helpful in developing rapeseed varieties and hybrids with higher oil content and good quality edible oil.

Pest warning and quality control of pesticides is another project to be located in Sahiwal, Sargodha, D.G.Khan and Bahawalpur to benefit farmers by increasing their livelihoods and standard of living by ensuring greater crop security through increasing epidemic resilience.

The project is also expected to complement the IPM programmes of the Agriculture Department and is in line with provincial growth strategy and will also help Punjab with its compliance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The sources said that a Chinese team will due in Pakistan this month to visit all sites of the project and then will give final approval to the projects.

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