LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahhaz Sharif yesterday announced allocation of Rs21 billion for the establishment of unique Knowledge Park project in Lahore.

Presiding over a high level meeting held to review that progress so far made to materialise the project, the chief minister directed the authorities for speedily finalising designing and all necessary things relating to the project.

The amount will be spent during next three years on the completion of this state of the art project which will spread over 852acre of land. The said amount announced by the CM will be provided from provincial kitty and spent at the ratio of Rs seven billion per year.

The chief minister said: “The international standard Knowledge Park will play an important role in the promotion of science, information technology and other disciplines maintaining high standard of education. The Park will prove to be a milestone in the promotion of research and education. Admission in the universities housed in the Park will be allowed strictly on merit.”

He said that the talented youth of poor families would be given admission on priority basis. The CM said that Knowledge Park Project would impart research based education to become a major means to meeting the global standards.

He said that speedy development is impossible without education and only those nations have achieved development goals speedily which have provided resources for the promotion of education.

Shahbaz Sharif said that provision of resources for the promotion of education is a useful investment and Punjab government will make investment on the future of Pakistan under Knowledge Park Project. The meeting discussed in detail various proposals relating to this project. Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed, Chairman Punjab Textbook Board, Vice Chancellors, educationists, Chairman Planning & Development and concerned officers attended the meeting. A foreign consultant gave a detailed briefing about the initial features of the Knowledge Park Project.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for National Food Security Sikandar Bosin met Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and discussed the steps regarding implementation of agriculture relief package announced for the farmers. Shehbaz Sharif said the concerned departments and institutions need to play an active role for implementation of agriculture package. He said that the agriculture package of Rs 341 billion for the development of agriculture sector and prosperity of small farmers is unprecedented in the country’s history which will leave far reaching impact on agriculture sector.

He said that solid measures have been taken under agriculture package for improving economic condition of small farmers. He said that the interests of farmers were protected earlier and will be protected in future as well. He said that this package is the voice of farmers.

No doubt, relief will be provided to the farmers through this historic package in the real sense and this package is a milestone for the uplift of agriculture sector on durable basis, he added.

Shahbaz Sharif said that welfare of farmers, protection of their interests and promotion of agriculture is one of the top priorities of the government and this package is of great importance for this purpose in which interests of small farmers have been kept foremost. Federal Minister Sikandar Bosin said that Federal government has given a proof of being farmer-friendly by announcing the package. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Dr. Farrukh Javed and Secretary Agriculture were also present on the occasion.