LAHORE -  Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Xiaohong Yang Thursday praised Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for his development vision and public welfare agenda.

During her meeting with the CM, she said that Punjab Speed is known the world-over and his development vision has become an example for others.

She said that Lahore is considered a secured city for investment and tourism after the completion of Punjab Safe City Project. Chief Minister Shehbaz said he believed in composite development of the province and every city is brought equal to the provincial metropolis.

Xiaohong Yang termed Orange Line the ‘best mass transit project’.

She led a five-member delegation of Asian Development Bank (ADB) to the meeting with CM.

On the occasion, progress on different projects started in collaboration with the ADB was reviewed. The meeting agreed to further extend mutual cooperation in different sectors including public-private partnership based projects.

Talking on the occasion, the CM said that a number of development projects are being completed in collaboration with the ADB in different sectors including irrigation and energy.

The bank is providing 500 million dollars funding for irrigation and energy projects, he added.

He continued: “ADB should provide development funds to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars every year for health, education and other sectors. Financial support of ADB for development schemes aiming at public welfare during the next five years in Punjab will be appreciated by the government.”

The CM said that Greater Thal Canal and Greater Cholistan Canal Projects will also be completed with the ADB funding and added that water reserves will be developed in the outback of Cholistan to save canal and flood water. The vast expanse of Cholistan will be made green and cultivable through Water Resource Management Project. The Cholistan will be developed as a green basket not only for Punjab but for the whole of the country as well and contacts with Gulf states will be further improved by providing different facilities in Cholistan including airport. He said that ADB’s support for water treatment plant in Faisalabad is praiseworthy.

The CM said that positive results have been gained for achieving the development targets through continued hard work. He said that Punjab is far ahead to other provinces due to its exemplary development in education, health, agriculture and other sectors. He said that more 50 mobile health units will be provided for providing best healthcare facilities to the people in far-flung areas. Meanwhile, best doctors from around the world will be invited to work in Multan Institute of Kidney Diseases (MIKD).

He said that helicopter service is also being introduced for transportation of specialist doctors in remote areas. Punjab government is also giving Rs1000 stipend to girl students to increase literacy rate.

He said that mobile phones will also be provided for prosperity of the farmers and to help increase the agricultural productivity. Meanwhile, interest-free small loans are being provided to the skilled youth under Chief Minister’s Self- Employment Scheme. He said that purple line metro train project will also be started through financial support of ADB adding that its technical support for traffic management and planning is commendable. Had KPK accepted our proposal for the start of metro bus service earlier, the project would have been completed today, he added.

Head of PKUK Donath Walton, Urban Unit’s Shaukat Shafi, Energy Unit’s Asad Ali and Head of Financial Sector Shuzab Ali were included in the delegation while Chairman P&D Jehanzeb Khan, MD Punjab Mass Transit Authority Sibtain Fazal-e-Haleem and others were also present on the occasion.