LAHORE An 'implementation letter for the promotion of education in five backward districts of South Punjab having the lowest literacy rate signed between Punjab government and USAID at Chief Ministers Secretariat here on Saturday. Under, the agreement USAID will provide a grant of 148 million dollars. Secretary Schools Muhammad Aslam Kamboh and USAID Director Lahore Betch Paige signed the document. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, outgoing US ambassador Anne W Patterson, Senior Adviser Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Provincial Ministers Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Sardar Dost Muhammad Khosa, US Consul General Carmella Conroy, Members of National and Provincial Assembly, USAID representatives and other officers were also present on the occasion. The CM said the agreement between the Punjab government and USAID was a welcome development. He said 148 million dollars grant would be spent on the promotion of education in DG Khan, Rajanpur, Multan, Khanewal and Bahawalpur. He said it was the largest grant offered by USAID for the promotion of education and it would be spent on the provision of missing facilities in schools, textbooks, teachers training and reconstruction of schools destroyed by floods. He said the project would benefit 7,818 schools in these five districts having 1,448,000 students. He said the Punjab government was grateful for the grant which was a gift for Punjab during the tenure of US ambassador Anne W Patterson in Pakistan. Paying tributes to the services of outgoing ambassador Anne W Patterson, the Chief Minister said she had played an effective role in strengthening relations between the two countries and resolving misunderstandings from time to time. Anne W Patterson said under the agreement between Punjab government and USAID, 148 million dollars would be provided to Punjab government for education sector under a 3-years programme. She said under a changed development strategy, US had decided to work with provinces along with federal government in Pakistan and keeping in view the performance of Punjab government it had taken a start from Punjab. Secretary Education informed 10 million dollars would be spent on the provision of missing facilities, 12 million dollars for provision of textbooks and 10 million dollars would be spent on the reconstruction of schools destroyed by floods. Earlier, US Ambassador Anne W Patterson met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and discussed the agreement for the promotion of education. Talking to the Ambassador, the Chief Minister said the agreement between the Punjab government and USAID was a milestone and it was the largest grant offered by the USAID to any country in the education sector. He said the project would be implemented expeditiously. He said education promotion was the top priority of the Punjab government and revolutionary steps had been taken for this purpose. He said USAID education programme for backward districts of the province was commendable and it should consider including Muzaffargarh, the worst flood-affected district, in the Southern Punjab Basic Education Programme.