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Wednesday April 17, 2024

Shahbaz seeks German investment in energy sector

Says Social Protection Authority set up to remove economic disparity

By our correspondents
May 29, 2015
LAHORE
A representative delegation of the German parliament called on Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday. The delegation was headed by Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development Dagmar G. Wohrl. German Ambassador Cyrill Nunn was also present.
Matters of mutual interest, strengthening of bilateral relations and promotion of cooperation between the two countries in various sectors were discussed in the meeting. The chief minister offered the German delegation to make investment in a 1000-megawatt solar power project in Punjab. The delegation expressed keen interest in the project.
Talking to the German delegation, the chief minister said there were strong friendly and trade relations between Pakistan and Germany and Germany was a big trade partner of Pakistan. He said that Germany played an important role in the grant of GSP Plus status to Pakistan which had resulted in increase in Pakistan’s exports in textile and garments sector. However, he said there was a need for promotion of economic and trade relations between the two countries.
Shahbaz Sharif said that Germany had made tremendous progress in every sector, especially in the field of technology. He said the Punjab government had completed a 100-megawatt solar power project with its own resources at Quaid-a-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur in a record period and it had started energy production. He said that services of a German consultant were acquired for the solar project while solar panels had been provided by China. The chief minister told the media that a project of setting up gas-based power houses of 3,600 megawatt electricity had been evolved and services of a German company had been acquired for this purpose. He said that 1,200-megawatt gas-based power project was being set up by the Punjab government with its resources while the federal government would establish 2,400-megawatt energy projects.
Referring to the sacrifices made by Pakistan in the war against terrorism, the chief minister said that besides energy crisis, Pakistan was also facing the challenge of terrorism and extremism. He said that officers and jawans of armed forces, police, common citizens and people of all the segments of the society had rendered supreme sacrifices in the war against terrorism and more than 50,000 Pakistanis had lost their lives in this war. He said the Pak army was achieving glorious successes in the Operation Zarb-e-Azb and political and military leadership as well as the whole nation were united to eliminate the menace of terrorism. He said that besides the use of force, social and economic measures were essential for rooting out terrorism and extremism.
He said the youth were being empowered to curb the trend of terrorism and extremism and a solid strategy had been evolved to impart various skills to lakhs of youth annually in Punjab. He said that thousands of youth had also been imparted skills in accordance with the market needs under the Skill Development Programme which was continuing successfully and its scope was also being extended to the whole province.
The chief minister said that Germany should consider the cooperation with Punjab in various programmes of empowerment of youth. He further said the government was following the policy of peaceful relations with neighbouring countries. He said the effective measures were being taken to eliminate child labour from the province and a target of six months had been given for eliminating child labour from brick kilns. He further said that all the citizens of the country had equal rights and besides Christians, members of other communities living in Pakistan were also very patriotic. He said the Christian community had played a commendable role in the progress and prosperity of the country, especially in education, health and other social sectors.
He said the Social Protection Authority had been set up in the province to remove economic disparity.
Chairperson of German delegation Dagmar G. Wohrl said the cooperation with Pakistan, especially Punjab, in skill development and other sectors would be promoted. She said that measures taken for social development in Punjab were commendable. Provincial Ministers Col. (Retd) Shuja Khanzada, Begum Zakia Shahnwaz, Member Provincial Assembly Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chairman Planning and Development, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, secretaries concerned and senior officials were also present.