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LAHORE: Chief Minister of Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi met Ambassador of Switzerland Georg Steiner at his office on Wednesday and discussed with him matters pertaining to bilateral relations and enhancement of trade.

During the meeting it was agreed to increase cooperation in hydroelectricity projects, dairy farming, climate change and tourism.

The Swiss ambassador gave assurance to provide assistance to the Punjab government in hydroelectricity projects.

Parvez Elahi told Swiss ambassador that the Punjab government has formulated a plan to establish hydel projects on the Chenab River. The destruction being caused due to flood can be prevented due to hydel projects and water can also be accumulated for agricultural purposes with the construction of said projects. We would welcome the cooperation of Switzerland companies in the construction of hydel projects, he added.

The CM disclosed that special economic zones will be established for the promotion of foreign investment in Punjab. The investors will be provided facilities on preferential basis in the special economic zones. All utilities including tax exemption will be provided in the special economic zones, he added.

The Ambassador stated that he is pleased to know about high quality production of commodities is being produced in the factories of Punjab. "We would undertake durable measures in order to enhance cooperation in various sectors of Punjab."

Moreover, while chairing the 10th meeting of the Punjab Journalist Housing Foundation's board, the CM announced to launch the second phase of the Lahore Press Club housing scheme. He explained that land would be given in the tehsil Cantt where 500 kanals would be reserved to allot 5 Marla plots in the Ashiana Housing Scheme.

In the meeting, the illegal allotment of 15 plots in LPC's B-Block was cancelled and CM stressed that the plots would be transparently allotted to the rightful persons of B-Block. CM also directed the police to evict the illegal occupants from the Press Club housing scheme's B-Block and assured that the affectees of B-Block will be given their right. He called a meeting to resolve the problem of affectees of B-block at the earliest.

The chief minister asked for recommendations for the Faisalabad Press Club housing scheme and added that 468 plots of five Marlas each would be given in this scheme. He waived off Rs.350 million interest amounts which the PJHF had to pay to the finance department as dues. He announced plans to launch journalist housing schemes in other districts in phases and noted that a housing scheme was established for journalists 18 years ago. Hundreds of plots have been given to journalists in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan to fulfill the dream of owning a house, he concluded.

Further, the CM has, in principle, approved to operate the 513 hybrid/electric buses in Lahore while chairing the 19th meeting of the Punjab Mass transit Authority at his office. He ordered to arrange more buses for feeder routes in Lahore along with an expansion of the Speedo feeder bus service from Lahore to Sheikhupura and Muridke to accommodate the periphery localities.

The CM ordered the revival of the Punjab Transport Company and approved the repair and maintenance of buses of the Pakistan Metro bus System in Rawalpindi/Islamabad along with the procurement of new buses. Similarly, it was decided, in principle, to continue the Bahawalpur-Lodhran bus service and addition of 12 buses to the fleet.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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