Need trade, not aid, She­hbaz asks USAID

Pakistan Today (Karachi) - - NEWS -

The US Agency for In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment (USAID)’s Pakistan Mis­sion Direc­tor John Groarke called on Pun­jab Chief Min­is­ter She­hbaz Sharif and dis­cussed mat­ters of mu­tual in­ter­est and the pro­mo­tion of mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion in en­ergy, agri­cul­ture and other sec­tors. Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, the chief min­is­ter said Pakistan and the US en­joy ex­cel­lent ties, but both the coun­tries need to fur­ther pro­mote trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion. He said that “we do not need aid; rather, we need trade. There­fore bi­lat­eral trade should be given more and more pro­mo­tion and the pri­vate sec­tor should also be en­cour­aged to cre­ate more job op­por­tu­ni­ties.” He said that sig­nif­i­cant drop in load shed­ding has been ob­served due to the ef­forts of the gov­ern­ment and work on the 3600 MW gas power projects is con­tin­u­ing. He said sev­eral power projects will be com­pleted by the end of the cur­rent year that will elim­i­nate load shed­ding and Pakistan will be­come self­suf­fi­cient in power pro­duc­tion. He said that Pun­jab gov­ern­ment was work­ing on rev­o­lu­tion­ary projects in ed­u­ca­tion, health and agri­cul­ture sec­tors. He said pack­age of Rs100 bil­lion is be­ing im­ple­mented in Pun­jab for the wel­fare of farm­ers, be­sides giv­ing sub­sidy on fer­tilis­ers. He said that re­forms were be­ing im­ple­mented in the ed­u­ca­tion and health sec­tors, and ef­fec­tive mea­sures have also been taken to pro­tect the rights of women. He said that a spe­cial cen­tre has been es­tab­lished in Mul­tan to pro­vide jus­tice to the women who were a vic­tim of tor­ture. He said that thou­sands of in­tel­li­gent but poor stu­dents have be­come doc­tors and en­gi­neers by get­ting fi­nan­cial aid from Pun­jab Ed­u­ca­tion En­dow­ment Fund. He said that the lat­est Metro Bus ser­vice is run­ning suc­cess­fully in La­hore Rawalpindi and Is­lam­abad, while the project in Mul­tan dis­trict has also been com­pleted. The co­op­er­a­tion of USAID in agri­cul­ture and en­ergy sec­tors is praise­wor­thy, he added. USAID mis­sion direc­tor John Groarke said co­op­er­a­tion with Pun­jab will con­tinue on a per­ma­nent ba­sis; the ef­forts of Pun­jab gov­ern­ment to im­prove agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tion were in­spi­ra­tional. US Con­sul Gen­eral Yuriy Fed­kiw was also present, be­sides Pro­vin­cial Fi­nance Min­is­ter Dr Aye­sha Ghaus-Pasha, Ad­vi­sor Dr Umar Saif, P&D chair­man, Pun­jab In­vest­ment Board CEO and other con­cerned of­fi­cers.

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