Reed Aeschliman, Mission Director of USAID Pakistan, called on Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi at his office on Tuesday and agreed to enhance development partnership between Punjab and the USAID.
The two sides agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in IT, agriculture, water management, energy, education and security sectors. Cooperation was assured by the USAID regarding construction of small dams and cleans energy. Reed Aeschliman welcomed progress on an agreement to declare Punjab and California as sister states.
The CM termed USAID an excellent development partner of the Punjab government and vowed to enhance cooperation with it to improve economy, business and investment. Under the new growth strategy of USAID for the next five years, steps would be taken to expand cooperation in the future, he said.
“My earlier education reforms programme was appreciated globally,” Parvez Elahi told his guest and added that education had been made free up to graduation by the incumbent government. The water management programme was started in 2002, but the next government did not do anything about it. In the previous era, a project was envisaged to build small dams based on the flow of canal water. Unfortunately, the PML-N government abandoned that project, he regretted. Now, the government was going to restart the construction of small dams as it would provide cheap electricity and provide water to the farmers. Alongside this, the government is also providing solar tube-wells to the farmers and electric vehicles are being introduced to fulfill the vision of a green Punjab, the CM said and mentioned that the USAID’s support in these programmes would be welcomed. He added that a cell had been created in the Planning and Development Board to implement the agreement to declare Punjab and California as sister states. This agreement would boost mutual contacts and investment. The IT companies of Silicon Valley would be welcomed to Punjab, the CM said and added that he personally monitors the progress of public welfare programs in Punjab.
The CM stated that Rescue 1122 is the best emergency service in Pakistan but also in South Asia. The Emergency Services Academy has been built on modern lines.
The Rescue 1122 staff was the first to reach out to the flood victims. The provincial government has given a huge relief package for flood affectees to the tune of billions of rupees.
The damage to the houses and livestock of the victims has been compensated by the government, added the CM.
Reed Aeschliman thanked CM for the support of the Punjab government and stated that cooperation would be promoted with the provincial government.
“The US would be happy to extend support to the Punjab government in various areas,” he said. “We are trying our best to have more development in Punjab, increase investment and boost business.