The ambassador of the European Union Dr Riina Kionka met the Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi at his office and discussed the promotion of cooperation in various fields, especially the construction of new water reservoirs and small dams on Tuesday. They also discussed measures taken for workers’ and minorities’ welfare, elimination of child labor and human rights situation. The CM thanked the EU for its support during the corona pandemic and mentioned that it is a major trade partner of Pakistan. We appreciate the support provided by the EU countries in various fields; he added and stated that the Punjab government has planned to build two dams on the river Chenab. Similarly, small dams will be built for the hill torrents of Koh-e-Sulaiman to save the rainwater for agricultural purposes. EU’s technical support for these projects would be appreciated. The Punjab government has also planned to build houses for the flood victims through Akhuwat and the European Union can also support this project. Meanwhile, road repair work has been started in the flood-affected areas; the CM added and pointed out that laws were enacted to eradicate child labour. The government was also making laws more stringent to curb this menace. Alongside this, the implementation of labor laws has also been ensured while taking steps to protect workers’ rights and the welfare of their children. Social security hospitals have been built for the workers and their families, where the treatment is free, he noted. The children of the workers are given a marriage grant on marriage and the amount of this grant has also been increased, he said. I had started the work on prison reforms in my previous tenure but the subsequent government stopped the work on it. Now, we are working afresh to provide the necessary facilities to the detainees in the jails; conveyed Parvez Elahi while saying that the food menu for the prisoners has been improved. Schools have been built to educate children confined with their mothers in jails and a free legal aid system has been introduced for hapless inmates, the CM further said. The jail reforms package will be approved by the cabinet and its bill will be approved by the assembly, he added. The CM said that the Punjab government has taken effective steps to protect human rights. All minorities have equal rights in Pakistan and special funds have been allocated for their welfare. A quota has been fixed for minorities’ educational admissions and jobs. A Pakistan based on the principles of patience, tolerance and brotherhood is our destination. The CM said that Pakistan and the European Union countries have very friendly relations and the government values the EU’s cooperation regarding the improvement of social sectors. It also wants to further strengthen these relations. The EU ambassador expressed regret for the loss of life and money in floods and said that assistance in the dams projects will be reviewed. Cooperation with the Punjab government in the fields of textiles, manufacturing, and small and medium enterprises will be increased. CM Parvaiz Elahi is taking good measures for the welfare of the people of the province. The first consular of the European Union Mr Daniel Clauss, Advisor Hasnain Iftikhar, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Muhammad Khan Bhatti, finance secretary and related officials were also present. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi appreciated the societal role of Akhuwat during a meeting with its founder Dr Amjad Saqib at his office. In collaboration with Akhuwat, the government would fulfil the dream of owning a house for low-income people as the government was going to relaunch the loan program of house construction for the low-income stratum. The CM approved the renewal of the agreement between the Punjab government and Akhuwat and 800 million rupees through the Punjab Housing and Town Planning Agency. The CM said that the Akhuwat microfinance organisation would provide loans to necessitous people for the construction of houses. Loans will be given on a priority basis for the construction of houses in flood-affected areas; he added and asserted that providing a roof to the flood victims is a priority. The provincial government would lend support to building houses as the federal government has not given anything to the flood victims and they would be given possible resources to build houses. Amjad Saqib said that 100 percent recovery has been ensured in Akhuwat loans given to 2.5 million families. Low-income families were assisted to build 36 thousand houses; he said and stated that Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s passion for resolving the common man’s problems is commendable. Provincial Minister Mian Mehmood-ul-Rashid, Principal Secretary to CM Muhammad Khan Bhatti, secretary housing dept and others attended the meeting. CM lauds Multan police: Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi has congratulated the Multan police for arresting the accused involved in the murder of PTI leader Tahir Hameed Qureshi. In a statement, the CM appreciated the performance of RPO Multan Raja Riffat, CPO Khurram Shahzad Haider and the investigation team. The police have traced the blind murder case in a short period and brought laurels home by working hard. The CM said that he promised to bring justice to the bereaved family and added that the accused will not escape severe punishment under the law.