Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that World Bank was a strong partner of the Punjab government. He was talking to the World Bank delegation led by country director Mr Patchamuthu Illangovan who called on him at his office here on Wednesday.
Both sides discussed World Bank assisted programs and expansion of bilateral cooperation and agreed to expand cooperation in agriculture, livestock, food, education, tourism, urban development and environment.
They further decided to complete the restructuring of the World Bank assisted smart program by December 31. It was also agreed upon to expedite progress on the Punjab cities program and Punjab green development program. The necessary spadework will be completed at the earliest to speedily complete WB assisted projects.
Talking on this occasion, the chief minister termed 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.
The early completion of World Bank assisted projects will be ensured for public welfare, he added. The chief minister added that the PTI government is following a policy of composite development and a holistic approach has 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 is a major part of the population and honorable employment could be provided to them through skills development programs which will make the youth self-reliant to help strengthen the national economy.
Patchamuthu Illangovan reiterated that World Bank will continue working with the Punjab government. Secretary P&D informed the meeting that World Bank is providing 1.7 billion dollars assistance for nine projects in Punjab while four projects, costing 645 million dollars, are in the pipeline. The WB delegation was comprised of 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.
Meanwhile, a consultation session for World Bank’s Girl Learn Women Earn initiative was held in the Committee Room of the Punjab Assembly with Uzma Kardar, Chairperson of the Gender Mainstreaming Committee Punjab Assembly. Secretaries of different departments, Members Provincial Assembly, Academia, Private Sector, Chairpersons of Punjab Information Technology Dept and Punjab TEVTA also attended the session.
Uzma Kardar in her welcome address emphasized on the need for girls education and later providing adequate opportunities for productive work for well being and economic growth. She reiterated the Prime Ministers and Chief Minister’s vision of ensuring equal learning and work opportunities for girls and women in Punjab and Pakistan.
Ali Salman, Chairman TEVTA on the occasion said the Govt of Punjab in its New Skills Ecosystem has Women Empowerment and Inclusion at the top agenda especially with help from international development partners like European Union, World Bank and GIZ.
Chairman PITB talked about the digital skills and the Government of Punjab’s commitment to ensuring equal opportunities for women.
Patchamuthu Illangovan Country Director World Bank appreciated the Govt of Punjab and the leadership of Chairperson, Gender Mainstreaming Committee Uzma Kardar for providing a platform for all to come together and share strategies for improving Girls’ Education and Future Economic Opportunities. He said the World Bank will collaborate with various initiatives in Punjab, especially with the Labour Department. TEVTA, WDD and various others to have initiatives that support gender equality in all areas.
Country Director World Bank Patchamuthu Illangovan, Melinda Good Operations Manager World Bank, Punjab Ombudsperson Rukhsana Gailani, Chairman TEVTA Ali Salman, Joint Chief Economist Dr Aman, Secretary Labour Sarah Aslam, Secretary WDD Ambreen, CEO Ehsaas Punjab Waqar Azeem, Salman Amin from PITB, Hafza Siddique from UN Women, Lubna Hayek President Women Chamber of Commerce, VC Lahore College for Women University Dr Bushra, Advisor to Education Minister Aasiya Khurram, Nabila from Aurat Foundation, Umme Laila Home based workers Chairperson, Gulalai P&DD, Imran Javed legal advisor PCSW, Waqar Ahmed, Head of Corporate affairs Nestle, Usman Khan, LUMS, Khalid National Commission Human Rights and MPAs including Shamsa Ali, Ummul Banin, Sajida attended the meeting.