CM seeks Dutch help in agri sector

Our Correspondent
July 07, 2022

LAHORE:Mr Wouter Plomp, ambassador of the Netherlands called on Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz at his office here Wednesday and discussed matters of mutual interest, including the promotion of...

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LAHORE:Mr Wouter Plomp, ambassador of the Netherlands called on Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz at his office here Wednesday and discussed matters of mutual interest, including the promotion of bilateral trade and investment.

The situation arising in the wake of climate changes and GSP Plus conventions also came under discussion and it was agreed to enhance cooperation in agriculture, food security, food processing, environment and other fields.

Talking on the occasion, the chief minister noted that good friendly relations exist between Pakistan and the Netherlands. He thanked the Netherlands for its support in GPS Plus status and pointed out that Punjab had ample opportunities for investment in agriculture, food processing, food security, environment and other sectors. The Netherlands has special expertise in the fields of agriculture, food processing and water management, he remarked and added that Punjab is an agricultural province and the development of the agrarian economy is a priority.

The chief minister explained that the technical assistance of the Netherlands in the agricultural sector would benefit the farmers of Punjab. Climate change is a daunting challenge for the whole world and Pakistan is also facing this issue, he mentioned and emphasised that the United Nations needs to take urgent joint action to address this challenge.

Wouter Plomp stated that there were many opportunities for cooperation in the agricultural sector of Punjab and expressed the desire to promote partnership with the Punjab government. Paul Ederer, Economic Consular of the Netherlands; Asma Hamid, Honorary Consular of the Netherlands in Lahore; Ali Raza, Legal Adviser; chairman planning & development, secretaries of agriculture and information depts., chairman Punjab Board of Investment & Trade and others were also present.

MONSOON ALERT: Hamza Shehbaz ordered administrative machinery to remain on alert round the clock in view of the monsoon season and possible floods. He also asked the commissioners to complete their preparations because of the threat of urban flooding and deluge. Timely evacuation of populations within the river bed should be the priority, he said and laid emphasis on removing encroachments inside river beds.

In this regard, public representatives should also be taken on board to ensure timely evacuation of populations within river beds, he added. Weather conditions are highly unpredictable and unusual; therefore, the level of preparation also requires extraordinary measures, he said. The preparedness should be conspicuous at the grassroots and any loophole should be plugged in without delay.

The chief minister said that the real challenge was to execute the plan and made it clear that he would take stern action if people face any difficulty. All provincial and federal agencies concerned should perform their duties under coordinated and best coordination, he reiterated and directed the commissioners to submit their reports after inspection of rivers' embankments in their areas. He said that all arrangements should also be audited by a third party for authentic information and data at the government level. The third-party audit should be done with a professional approach, he added and ordered to establish an institutional mechanism for the third-party audit.

Our correspondent from Multan adds: The chief minister took notice of non-payment of salaries to Wasa Multan employees. He ordered to pay employees on emergency basis before Eid. He was holding a meeting in connection with the arrangements for urban flooding in major cities of Punjab on Wednesday. Following the orders of the chief minister, the Punjab government released salaries funds to Wasa.

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