Punjab Government and the USAID Pakistan have agreed to strengthen their partnership centring on development. Reed Aeschliman, Mission Director of USAID Pakistan, met with Chief Minister Punjab, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, in which they both agreed to enhance cooperation centring on the development of Punjab province. The dignitaries exchanged views to increase bilateral cooperation in IT, agriculture, water management, energy, education and security sectors. USAID Mission Director assured the Chief Minister of his continued support in the construction of small dams in the province.
He also expressed his satisfaction on the progress over the agreement to declare Punjab and California as sister states. Pervaiz Elahi said that USAID was one of the most important development partners of Pakistan. He said his provincial government was looking forward to increased cooperation with the agency in the economy, business and investment. He lauded the USAID’s growth strategy for the next five years as a crucial part for the development of Punjab. He said, “my previous reforms in education garnered global appreciation. We made education free up to the graduation level.
Our water management program of 2002 revolving around the construction of small dams on canal water was developed to cater to the long-term needs of the province.” He, however, regretted that later governments after his tenure abandoned the projects of much significance to the province. He continued, “we are going to restart the construction of small dams as they will provide cheap electricity and water to the farmers. Alongside this, our government is providing solar tube wells to the farmers and introducing electric vehicles to fulfil the vision of a green Punjab.”
He welcomed USAID’s help in all the undergoing and new projects. He said that a special cell in the Planning and Development Board has been established to speed up the process of declaring Punjab and California as sister states. He said that this agreement will help in foreign direct investment into the province and that more and more contacts will be established between the businesses of the two states. “IT companies will be welcomed under this agreement to invest in the province and start their businesses here,” he added. Elahi told the visiting Mission Director that Rescue 1122 was the best emergency service not only in Pakistan but also in South Asia. He said it has been established on modern lines to provide emergency services in times of disasters, accidents and calamities.
While discussing the flood relief efforts, he said that the provincial government had mobilized a hefty relief package for the flood-affected people. He thanked the US administration for providing emergency aid after the floods. He highlighted that damages to houses and livestock are being compensated by the provincial government. Reed Aeschliman said that the US government was looking forward to increased cooperation with the Punjab government in various areas. He added, “we are doing our best to help the Punjab government overcome the challenges it is facing in good governance, economic development and environmental resilience.”
Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk