LAHORE - An agreement was signed between the Punjab government and Sweden on Wednesday regarding inspection and certification system of vehicles.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was the chief guest at the ceremony held at Model Town. Secretary Transport and President OPUS Group of Sweden Carl Magnus Greko signed the document. Under the agreement, the Swedish group will set up 39 fitness stations in Punjab for the checking of commercial vehicles.

In the first phase, three fitness stations will be established in Lahore division which will start functioning from June 2015 while in the second phase fitness stations will be set up in other cities of the province. Seven tests of different kinds will be conducted on the vehicles at the fitness stations to be established by the Swedish Group.

The Swedish group will also extend cooperation with regard to licensing and training of drivers and a separate driving school of international standard will be established in Punjab.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif while speaking on the occasion said that it is the first agreement signed in Pakistan under public-private partnership in services sector. He said that under the agreement fitness certificates of international standard will be issued to commercial vehicles and no unfit vehicle will be allowed on the road.  He said that route permits will be issued only to the vehicles which will meet the standard of fitness. The Swedish group will also provide licensing and training to the drivers. He said that the project of establishing fitness stations for vehicles is of vital importance as fitness station for inspection of vehicles and certification system for drivers will be helpful in controlling accidents as well as environmental pollution. He said that a driving school will also be set up for the training of drivers on modern lines.

The chief minister appreciated the agreement with the Swedish group and said that it would not only create job opportunities but would also increase foreign investment.  Ambassador of Sweden Tomas Rosander, Chairman Lahore Transport Company Kh. Ahmed Hassan, Chairman Planning & Development, Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board and Chief Executive Officer of OPUS Inspection International Lothar Geilen were also present on the occasion.