Monday February 06, 2023

WB to give soft loan of $200m for green project: Pervaiz

By Our Correspondent
November 22, 2022

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has said that World Bank (WB) would give a soft loan of 200 million dollars to the Punjab government for the green development project. The CM stated this while chairing a meeting at his office here on Monday.

The CM added that the provincial government would install air and water quality monitoring systems in ten districts, including Lahore, Sheikhupura, Multan, DG Khan, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Vehari and other cities. The air quality monitoring systems and water quality monitoring stations would be installed at 30 and 15 places, respectively, under the Punjab green development project, he stated. Alongside, the CM noted that an environment-friendly pilot project would be started in Lahore with 25 electric buses. The legislation would be enacted to control the use of plastic for environmental improvement; he added and asserted that a single-use of plastic would be ensured to eliminate environmental pollution. The solar panels would be installed on the roofs of government buildings under energy-efficient buildings plan in the divisions, while six DHQ hospitals had already been converted to solar energy, he explained.

The CM disclosed that a 50 million dollar environment endowment fund would be established under the proposed green financing strategy. The proposal to make a token tax for private vehicles subject to motor vehicle inspection and certification was also reviewed. The inspection of equipment that causes environmental pollution would be included in VICS motor vehicles certification and soft loans would be given to six industries under the green investment project, he added. Steel mills, rice mills, stone crushing, and leather processing industries would be included in the green investment project. Initially, loans of 30 million dollars would be provided to 100 small industrial units; he said and directed to start an awareness campaign to overcome environmental pollution.

Former federal minister Moonis Elahi, Chief Secretary Abdullah Sumbal, former principal secretary GM Sikandar, secretary of finance, environment, DG EPA and others attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the dairy farmers association apprised the Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi about the problems of the livestock and dairy farming sector during a meeting at his office on Monday. The delegation included Rashid Haleem of Ever Fresh Farms, Anjum Zafar of Eastern Dairies, Faizan Elahi of Sapphire Dairies, Muhammad Kaleem of Athoor Limited and Haroon MK Lodhi of Corporate Dairy Farmers Association. The CM issued instructions to resolve the issues and imposed a ban on the interprovincial transportation of maize in Punjab. The maize would not be taken out of the province to meet the needs of livestock, especially the poultry industry and dairy farming. This decision would benefit the local poultry industry by meeting its needs; he said and added that instructions have been issued to the DPOs and deputy commissioners of the respective districts to prevent the transportation and movement of maize on the exit routes of Punjab. He also directed the livestock department to prepare the provincial livestock policy in consultation with the stakeholders. A committee was also formed under Provincial Livestock Minister Sardar Shahabuddin to formulate a livestock policy. The committee would include manufacturers and farmers of the livestock and dairy farming sector. The CM stated that the Punjab government would prepare locally effective vaccines to protect animals from diseases and added that the private sector would also be included in this.