WB, Punjab govt agree for cooperation

LAHORE, Dec 18 (APP): The Punjab government and the World Bank have agreed to extend cooperation in agriculture, livestock sector, food, education, tourism, urban development and environment.

This was agreed in a meeting between Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman and the World Bank delegation led by Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan which called on the CM at his office here on Wednesday.

It was decided to complete the restructuring of World Bank assisted smart programme by December 31.

The World Bank assisted programmes and expansion of bilateral cooperation were discussed in the meeting.

It was also agreed upon to expedite the pace of work on the Punjab cities programme and Punjab green development programme.

The necessary spadework will be completed at the earliest to speedily complete WB assisted projects.

Talking on the occasion, the chief minister termed the World Bank as a strong partner of the Punjab government and appreciated its cooperation.

“We welcome the World Bank’s assistance and cooperation will be extended to it in the future, as well,” he added.

The early completion of the World Bank assisted projects would be ensured for public welfare, he said.

The chief minister said the PTI government was following a policy of composite development and a holistic approach had been adopted to bring poor localities at par with the developed areas.

“Poverty alleviation and creation of new employment opportunities are our important priorities,” he added.

Usman Buzdar said that youth was a major part of the population and employment could be provided to them through skills development programs which would make the youth self-reliant to help strengthen the national economy.

Patchamuthu Illangovan reiterated that the World Bank would continue working with the Punjab government.

Earlier, the Secretary P&D informed the meeting that the World Bank was providing 1.7 billion dollar assistance for nine projects in Punjab while four projects, costing 645 million dollar, are in the pipeline.

The WB delegation was comprised manager (operations) Ms Milinda Good, senior operations officer and different experts.

Provincial ministers Hashim Jawan Bakht, Samiullah Ch, Nauman Langrial, Sardar Hussain Bahadur Dareshk, Bao Rizwan, advisor Dr Salman Shah, Chief Secretary, Chairman P&D, SMBR and high officials were also present on this occasion.

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