Uplifting Balochistan is among govt's top priorities: PM Imran

Dunya News


Uplifting Balochistan is among govt's top priorities: PM Imran

ISLAMABAD (APP) - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that uplift of the people of Balochistan is among top priorities of the government.

The government has prioritized the development projects according to their impact on the livelihood of the people of Balochistan, he added.

The Prime Minister was chairing a meeting to review the progress of development projects in Balochistan.

He said that infrastructural development, development in agriculture, fisheries, power sector and subsidy on basic amenities including Ehsaas programs were gradually gaining pace.

The Prime Minister further said that industrialization and establishment of processing plants was being expedited for the economic uplift of locals.

Protection of local fishermen by curbing illegal trawling activities was being ensured, he added.

Federal Ministers Shaukat Tarin, Ch. Fawad Hussain, Murad Saeed, Asad Umar, Hammad Azhar, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bazenjo, Special Assistant to PM on CPEC Khalid Mansoor and senior civil and military officers concerned attended the meeting.

The meeting was given a comprehensive overview regarding improvement in governance structure, execution of government-to-government projects, fisheries sector, command area development, agriculture sector and the establishment of nursing colleges.

The meeting was also given a detailed briefing on road networks, power sector projects, projects by Maritime Affairs, IT and Telecom Sector, Industries and Production and development projects in Gwadar.

About Governance, the meeting was told that out of the total 161 projects, a total of 59 projects will be completed in the current fiscal year.

The goal was being achieved by improved monitoring and governance both at the provincial and federal levels.

The Prime Minister said that expeditious execution of the projects should be ensured along with the establishment of a robust permanent structure that will ensure the development of deprived areas of Balochsitan in the long run.

In a briefing about road structure, the meeting was told that a total of 3,788 KMs of road infrastructure was being developed in Balochistan to improve connectivity. The said projects were already ahead of the timelines ascertained for these projects.

Moreover, 796 km Karachi- Quetta-Chaman road project was also underway and the on-ground work will commence very soon.

About Fisheries Sector, the meeting was told that one of the major concerns of the local fishermen was of the illegal fishing trawlers that had been addressed on a priority basis by improved patrolling by the concerned agencies. This has also resulted in the conservation of the fishing stock.

In addition to that the Ministry of Maritime Affairs in collaboration with Kamyab Jawan Program was providing loans to local fishermen for improvement of techniques and their boats, which included the installation of vehicle monitoring system.

About Command Area Development, the meeting was told that in order to efficiently manage the water resources and development of agriculture sector in the province, Command Area Development projects were being expedited. It was further told that the Katchi canal project was near to completion.

In addition to the above, a foot-and-mouth disease free area was being established, where besides the vaccination of cattle, proper facilities will be provided to meet international standards for the export of processed meat.

This will not only generate foreign exchange by increasing exports, but will also create jobs.

In the briefing on power and petroleum sector, the meeting was briefed on progress regarding ongoing power projects, including both mega projects and off-grid projects. Distribution of 3000 solar panels will commence soon.

Along with that a subsidy on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was proposed which will help the locals and resolve the issues pertaining to energy demands.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs informed the meeting about progress on import of Virtual Pipeline LNG whereby licenses were being granted that will further improve the gas situation in the province, especially in Gwadar.

About IT Sector and Distance Learning, the meeting was updated that till now, 6,372 trainings have been given to the local youth which had empowered them regarding the tech-related jobs.

Moreover, a program including 35,000 trainings was being launched that will train the youth regarding free-lancing and other market competitive tech courses.

About Air-Connectivity, the meeting was briefed that the project of development of Turbat Airport was in the bidding stage and steps were being taken to increase flight operations between Turbat, Gawadar and Quetta.

On Industrial Development, the meeting was briefed about the progress on dates’ processing plants in Turbat, meat processing plants, metal parks including in the areas of Chaghi, Khuzdar, Lasbeela and Gwadar.

In addition, the government was engaging the private sector for a cost-sharing model of olive oil extraction plants in Khuzdar and other areas of the province.

Moreover, the project of establishment of boat industry in Gwadar was underway with all stakeholders on board. The purpose of the project was to modernize the existing fleet of boats belonging to local fishermen.

The meeting was also informed about the establishment of 1.2 million gallon water plant in Gwadar which was expected to be completed before summer this year.

The Prime Minister directed the concerned stakeholders to speed up the projects, especially those that have high impact on the livelihoods of the locals.

Earlier today, Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani and Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo Wednesday called on Prime Minister Imran Khan.

During the meeting, the prime minister directed authorities concerned to take effective steps for the rehabilitation of the flood affected population besides, restoration of damaged infrastructure.

Issues pertaining to the development of the province and recent floods were discussed.

The chairman Senate and the chief minister expressed their gratitude to the prime minister for taking keen interest in the uplift of the province.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated 293kms lengthy Hakla-DI Khan motorway, which is an important part of the Western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Hakla-DI Khan motorway has 11 interchanges, 36 bridges, 33 flyovers and 119 underpasses. It would help in transforming DI Khan as one of the main business hubs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, linking South Punjab and Balochistan. It would also enable supply of agricultural produce to different parts of the country.

Speaking on the occasion the prime minister said previously the development of the country was confined only to GT road, Lahore and onwards to Karachi which were also called as Eastern route of the CPEC.

“But a country achieves progress if there is uniform development across its length and breadth. It is made possible due to long-term planning like China which has planned 30 years ahead,” he added.

The prime minister said the future planning would envisage a roadmap towards progress, embracing all parts of the country.

If few areas were developed the people living there would become rich, leaving behind other population of the backward areas in poverty. It was the biggest problem of the developing world, he added.

The prime minister recollected that during 60s, Pakistan had long-term planning as the country’s biggest projects were conceived during that period.

The prime minister said that during the last 25 years, he had been consistently maintaining that corruption had been the biggest issue of Pakistan.

He said in the past, roads were constructed at expensive costs as the money was going into someone’s pockets. “Roads were constructed for making money. How it comes that roads during 2013 were constructed costly and now being completed at the lowest costs,” he expressed his wonder. The prime minister said construction of dual roads in the past cost double.

“About 1000 billion rupees had gone to the pockets of corrupt, and it happened with a poor nation,” he regretted.

Commending efforts of the minister for communication, the prime minister said his ministry had been among the top three performing ministries.

He said revenues of the National Highway Authority had been doubled after steps taken against corruption including E-tendering, besides, recovery of NHA encroached land worth Rs 5 billion.

He stressed that development should be ‘always inclusive’ without focusing on a particular segment of society.

The planning should be made in a way that no area or people were left behind, he said, adding Madina had been the most successful model of the world. In that state living standards of the people were raised.

The prime minister further said people in the far-off areas, were deprived of health facilities and stressed upon provision of education and justice.

He said the people in the backward areas like Mianwali would have the facility of availing the best treatment facilities due to the health cards.

Each family would get treatment worth Rs1 million free of cost. Such initiative would also enable the private sector to establish a health network in these areas, he added.

The prime minister said Hakla-DI Khan would connect those areas which were less developed. The lack of facilities forced the inhabitants of DI Khan and Mianwali to move to developed cities which also resulted in the brain drain and flight of talent.

He expressed the confidence that the motorway would go a long way in raising the standards of living of these areas and by reducing the distance from seven hours to three hours from Islamabad to DIKhan.

The prime minister said such prospects would also augur well for the bright future of Pakistan.