EU Ambassador discusses cooperation promotion with CM Parvez Elahi


LAHORE, OCT 25 (DNA) — Ambassador of the European Union (EU) Dr Riina Kionka called on Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi at his office on Tuesday and discussed the promotion of cooperation in various fields, especially the construction of new water reservoirs and small dams. They discussed measures taken for workers’ and minorities’ welfare, elimination of child labor and human rights situation.

The CM thanked the EU for its support during the corona pandemic and termed it a major trade partner of Pakistan. He said that the Punjab government had planned to build two dams on the river Chenab. Similarly, small dams would be built for the hill torrents of Koh-e-Sulaiman to save the rainwater for agricultural purposes. The EU’s technical support for these projects would be appreciated, he maintained.

The Punjab government had also planned to build houses for the flood victims through Akhuwat Foundation and the EU can also support this project. Meanwhile, road repair work had been started in the flood-affected areas, the CM added and pointed out that laws were enacted to eradicate child labour. The government was making laws more stringent to curb this menace.

Alongside this, the implementation of labor laws had also been ensured while taking steps to protect workers’ rights and the welfare of their children. Social security hospitals have been built for the workers and their families, where the treatment was free, he noted. The children of the workers were given a marriage grant and the amount of the grant had also been increased, the CM said.

The government was working to provide necessary facilities to the detainees in the jails, he said adding that the food menu for the prisoners had been improved. Schools have been built to educate children confined with their mothers in jails and a free legal aid system had been introduced for hapless inmates, the CM added. The jail reforms package would be approved by the cabinet and its bill would be approved by the Assembly, he added.

The CM said that the Punjab government had taken effective steps to protect human rights. All minorities have equal rights in Pakistan and special funds have been allocated for their welfare. A quota had been fixed for minorities’ educational admissions and jobs. The CM said that Pakistan and the EU countries have very friendly-relations and the government values the EU’s cooperation regarding the improvement of social sectors.

The EU ambassador expressed regret over the loss of life as well as properties in floods and said that assistance in the dams projects would be reviewed. Cooperation with the Punjab government in the fields of textiles, manufacturing, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would be increased.

The first consular of the EU Daniel Clauss, Advisor Hasnain Iftikhar, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Muhammad Khan Bhatti, finance secretary and other officials were also present. =DNA