ISLAMABAD - Appreciating the ongoing support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the social protection, agriculture sector, infrastructure development and financial efficiency in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that uplift of agriculture is the foremost priority of the government.

The Prime Minister stated this while talking to Chief of Asian Development Bank for Rural Development and Food Security Dr Akmal Siddiq and ADB’s Director General for Central and West Asia, Werner Liepach, who have separately called on him at his office.

The Prime Minister said that agriculture is the backbone of the country’s economy and practical steps are being taken to enhance the agriculture yield.

He said that apart from enhancing the production of major crops such as wheat, cotton, rice through use of latest techniques and technology, the government is also giving emphasis on fisheries and other such important sectors.

Imran Khan said that the government is also determined to benefit from the Chinese expertise in the agriculture sector.

Appreciates ADB support for multiple sectors

The Chief of Asian Development Bank for Rural Development and Food Security briefed the Prime Minister about the ADB’s study on the agriculture sector.

He said the Asian Development Bank has approved a grant of one million dollars for the promotion of information and communication technology in the agriculture sector. He said implementation on this project will be started next year.

Akmal Siddiq said the bank is also considering a proposal to provide a loan to Pakistan to the tune of 150 million dollars for establishment of a state of the art whole sale market in Lahore.

He said that a proposal is being considered to introduce corporate agriculture on a large scale in Kachi Canal.

The Prime Minister welcomed the Asian Development Bank’s assistance for the development of the agriculture sector.

Minister for National Food Security Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Planning Asad Umar and PTI leader Jahangir Tareen were also in attendance in the meeting.

Later, while talking to Liepach, the Prime Minister appreciated the ongoing support from the Asian Development Bank in the social protection, agriculture sector, infrastructure development towards financial efficiency in the country.

He highlighted the efforts of the economic team of the government for putting the country’s economy on stabilization path.

Imran said that the present government has focused its energies for the uplift of the poor segments of the population, particularly in the low cost housing sector.

He observed that there is immense scope for expansion in the existing technical support in the Ehsas flagship program, low cost housing and provision of good quality food items to the people through the Utility Stores.

Liepach lauded the steps taken by the government of Pakistan for steering the country out of difficult economic condition towards stability.

He highlighted that under the Financial Infrastructure Program, the Bank has contributed significantly towards construction of water resources, particularly the barrages in Pakistan.

Minister for EAD Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Adviser to Prime Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Country Director, Pakistan Resident Mission ADB Xiaohong Yang were also present during the meeting.

ASAD, SHIBLI CALL ON PM

Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar and Leader of the House in Senate Shibli Faraz called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday and exchanged views on matters relating to legislation. The Prime Minister said that legislation on important issues relating to public importance should be expedited.

The Prime Minister also emphasised that appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan should also be expedited.

Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati, and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan were also present during the meeting.