LAHORE - A delegation of World Bank led by Country Director Rachid Ben Messaud met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday. Matters regarding promotion of cooperation in skill development and tourism sector were discussed in the meeting.

Talking to the delegation, the chief minister said that majority of Pakistan’s population comprises youth and by imparting quality skills to the youth, the challenge of their empowerment has to be turned into an opportunity.

He said that World Bank should further promote cooperation with Punjab with regard to skill development. He said that provision of resources for empowerment of youth is a useful investment and Punjab government is moving in the right direction in this regard. He said that training and imparting of skills to youth in accordance with market need is the need of the hour.

He said that Punjab government is building the capacity of technical training institutes. He said that World Bank should consider provision of assistance in the vocational training of five lakh youth annually. He said that in order to provide respectable job opportunities, the government has started the pilot project programme of digital economy under which online jobs will be provided to the youth. He said that World Bank should provide assistance in this regard.

The chief minister also issued instruction for setting up a committee for further negotiations with World Bank for the promotion of tourism in Punjab.

Country Director of World Bank Rachid Ben Messaud said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took commendable steps for progress of the province and has provided benefits of the development projects to the masses in the real sense.

Provincial Minister for Tourism Rana Mashhood Ahmad, Minister for Finance Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, were also present on the occasion.

Shahbaz for protecting expats’ properties: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over a meeting of Overseas Pakistanis Commission Punjab, on Tuesday in which performance of the commission was reviewed. Commissioner Overseas Pakistanis Commission Punjab Afzaal Bhatti gave a detailed briefing.

Addressing the meeting, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistanis living abroad are ambassadors of the country and their problems will be resolved on priority basis. He said that no one will be allowed to grab properties, houses or land of overseas Pakistanis. He said that the hard-earned money of the Pakistanis living abroad will be protected at any cost.

He directed that Overseas Pakistanis Commission Punjab should acquire the services of lawyers at the earliest for pursuing the cases. The chief minister issued instructions for setting up a committee for making affairs of the housing societies transparent and said that this committee should review all matters regarding housing societies.

The meeting also decided to fix quota of the children of overseas Pakistanis in educational institutions on merit and the Chief Minister directed that a comprehensive framework should be evolved and presented in the next meeting. He said that the complaints and problems of overseas Pakistanis should be solved immediately and there should not be any delay in this regard. He said that the commission should resolve the problems of Pakistanis living abroad in an active manner.

The meeting also decided to allocate a separate block for overseas Pakistanis in government housing schemes. Shahbaz Sharif directed that Punjab Investment Board should play an active role for motivating overseas Pakistanis towards investment.

Afzaal Bhatti told the meeting that out of 650 complaints of overseas Pakistanis 357 have been resolved. He said that Azad Jammu and Kashmir Overseas Cell had been set up while a helpline is also fully active.