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World Bank President to visit Sindh 

KARACHI, 21 JAN (DNA) – The President of World Bank along with his two senior vice presidents is arriving here to launch a new development partnership with Sindh government on 10 February  for which a high profile meeting between Sindh Government and the World Bank Team was held here at the CM House Thursday.

The meeting was chaired Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah. He assisted by his professional team comprising Senior Minister for Finance, Energy, Development  & irrigation Syed Murad Ali Shah, Additional Chief Secretary (Dev) Aijaz Ali Khan, Principal Secretary to Cm Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput and Commissioner Karachi Asif Hyder Shah.

The World Bank team lead by its Country Director Mr Patchmuthu Illangovan, Mr Erique Armas and Jaffar Friaa.

Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah opening the discussion urged the World Bank to assist the provincial government to develop different sectors such as renewable energy, public transport, agriculture, irrigation and the most important project of rehabilitation of Sukkur Barrage.

“The World Bank has always been supportive to Sindh government but we need your more  partnership in the develop socio-economic of the province.”

“I am keen to receive the World Bank President and his team. You are our development partner and his visit would further strengthen the partnership in the supreme interest of the people of Sindh,” he said.

Briefing the World Bank team he said that Sindh has a vast corridor of renewable energy such as wind and Solar. “More than 32 companies have started their projects there. The energy experts have suggested that over 50,000 MW electricity can be generated from the said corridors locate at different districts such as Thatta, Jamshoro, Sukkur and Benazirabad,” he said and urged the world bank to support in renewable power generation.

He also said that there were vast investment opportunities in the transport sector in Karachi. “Sindh and the federal governments have launched two separate public transport projects but even then more projects were required to cater the needs of this megalopolis city,” he said.

Talking about irrigation projects, the chief minister said that the feasibility study of Sukkur Barrage was conducted with the support of World Bank. “This barrage has initial life of 50 years which it has already completed,” he said and added that it was 80 years old and its rehabilitation was overdue.

He also mentioned canal lining of Rohri Canal. “The lining of its small portion produced congenial results,” he said. ACS (Dev) Aijaz Ali Khan added that the lining of Rohri Canal has not only reduced water logging level by four to five feet down but has saved 250 cusecs water. ‘We are already facing water shortage to cultivate more lands, therefore conservation of water is badly need to this province,” he said.

 Senior Minister for irrigation Syed Murad Ali Shah urged the World Bank to support Sindh government for canal lining. “We are agro-based economy, therefore we have to save the water and to switch over to the crops need low water,” he said.

The chief minister also said that his province also needs World Bank expert support in the development of agriculture sector. “We grow more challis and they are in high demand in India and other countries. “We have also dates in abundance in Khairpur district. We are working to improve their quality further. However, we have exported dates to Korea and UAE last year,” he said.

He also said that he was giving top priority to education and health sectors. “World Bank projects are going on in the education sector but we need your help in health sector also,” he said.

The World Bank Country Director, Mr Patchamuthu Illamgovan thanked the chief minister for detailed briefing and said that there were 13 World Bank projects worth Rs840 billion in progress in Sindh. ”This is good partnership but we are keen to expand it further in other sectors also,” he said.

He showed his interest in all the projects and assured the Sindh government that he would support them in the fast track development. “We are ready to take up your projects in all the sectors, particularly in health, agriculture and renewable energy,” he said and added that sustainable developed was need of Sindh province.

The country director accepting the invitation of Senior Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah decided to visit Rohri Canal to see its lining project. After this meeting, the Siindh government team led by Senior Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and World Bank team led by its Country held another session to discuss and finalise the projects of the provincial government for their final discussion with the World Bank President. DNA

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