Home General Khan announces Rs370bn uplift package for G-B

Khan announces Rs370bn uplift package for G-B


GILGIT: Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced a five-year package of Rs370 billion for Gilgit-Baltistan to transform the region.
Announcing the main features of the development package at a ceremony on Friday, the prime minister said that it is the first time that such a big amount will be used for the development of this picturesque and strategically located region.
The prime minister said the development package envisages hydel power generation and transmission projects, connectivity projects for tourism, youth skill and scholarship programme, up-gradation of health system and water and sanitation projects.
He said, “We will also support the development of small and medium enterprises in the area, besides focusing on expansion of its infrastructure.” He said, “It will be our effort to enable Gilgit airport to receive international flights.”
Highlighting the immense and diverse tourism potential of Gilgit-Baltistan, the prime minister said this development package will prepare the region to attract the tourists which will benefit not only the local people but the whole country. He was confident that exploiting GB’s tourism potential will make it self-reliant.
He, however, emphasised the need for promotion of tourism in a planned manner to cultivate its true benefits. He said the tourism in the region should not affect the forests and the mountains. He said the introduction of a local government system in the region will help take forward the region.
The prime minister reaffirmed his commitment to transform the country by waging a successful struggle against the corrupt mafia. He said it is the first time that this mafia is being brought under the ambit of law.
Under the historic GB package, nine power projects each having capacity of producing 250 MW electricity will be launched for the power system at a cost of Rs140 billion. Among these projects are hydel and clean energy projects while the local distribution system will also be expanded and improved.
The package also includes five road projects to be completed at a cost of Rs35 billion.
For the tourism sector, various projects including infrastructure and capacity building will be launched at a cost of Rs6 billion. Besides, Rs17 billion will be spent on health and education while 5,000 young people will be given scholarships and skills.
Hospitals in Gilgit, Skardu and Chilas will be upgraded while medical colleges will be set up in Skardu and Gilgit.
For clean water supply and sewerage in Gilgit and sanitation schemes for Skardu, Rs8.5 billion have been allocated. Eighty-two flood protection centres will be established across Gilgit-Baltistan for flood protection.
Rehabilitation and My Skill Centres are being set up for special people in all the ten districts of Gilgit-Baltistan.
During his visit to GB, the prime minister inaugurated the Gilgit-Baltistan government’s web portal, Chief Minister’s Task Management System and Chief Minister’s Complaint Management System.
The launch of this system will help in expeditious redressal of public grievances and strengthen innovation in government action and coordination between departments.
The prime minister also inaugurated the SCO-managed projects including the first phase of CPEC Khunjerab to Rawalpindi Optic Fibre Cable, access to fibre optic wire to homes in 39 locations in Gilgit-Baltistan, establishment of an incubation centre at Karakoram University in collaboration with SCO, the establishment of a modern transceiver station at the K-2 base camp in memory of the famous climber Ali Sadpara.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of the establishment of a VSAT hub for communication in remote areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and a software technology park in Hunza.
Besides, Ehsas Naash-o-Numa, Ehsas Secondary Education scholarships and Ehsas One Woman – One Account for the whole of Gilgit-Baltistan were also launched.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday paid tribute to the services of late mountaineer Muhammad Ali Sadpara during his visit to Gilgit.
According to the Twitter account of the Prime Minister’s Office, the premier had a meeting with Sajid Ali Sadpara, the son of Muhammad Ali Sadpara, during which he paid tribute to the services that the late mountaineer rendered to make Pakistan proud on an international level.
Sajid Sadpara also tweeted about the meeting, saying that the chief minister of Gilgit Baltistan Muhammad Khalid Khurshid Khan also visited him along with the premier.
Muhammad Ali Sadpara was declared dead by his family on February 18, 2021. The mountaineer had gone to summit the mighty K2 along with Iceland’s John Snorri and Chile’s Juan Pablo Mohr. They had departed for their journey on February 3.
The trio had started their attempt for the final summit in the early hours of February 5, hoping to accomplish the herculean task by afternoon.
According to the last updates posted on Snorri’s Facebook account on February 5, at 12:29 pm, their GPS had stopped working.
The government of Pakistan, the Pakistan Army, and other stakeholders employed their best efforts to find the missing mountaineers and several search-and-rescue attempts were made, but the teams remained unsuccessful due to the harsh weather.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has underlined the importance of developing a strong economic relationship commensurate with friendly bilateral ties and the potential of Pakistan and Hungary.
The prime minister said this while talking to Hungary’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto who called on him on Friday.
The prime minister stressed the need for expanding beneficial cooperation in trade, energy, water resource management, food and agriculture, science and technology, and higher education.
Imran Khan also impressed upon the Hungarian business community to take advantage of the business -riendly climate of Pakistan and bring further investment into the country.
Views were exchanged on the adverse economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The prime minister appreciated Hungary’s efforts in vaccinating its population. He underlined that Pakistan’s efforts have been aimed at ensuring saving people from dying of the virus, and at the same time preventing them from dying of hunger, by stimulating the economy.
On the Afghanistan issue, the prime minister reiterated his conviction that there is no military solution to the conflict and that a negotiated political settlement is the only way forward. He underscored the importance of responsible withdrawal and steady progress by the Afghan parties towards a political solution. He said peace and stability in Afghanistan would yield other significant dividends including enhanced trade and regional connectivity.
Foreign Minister Szijjarto thanked the prime minister for receiving him and conveyed greetings from the Hungarian Prime Minister. Imran Khan renewed his invitation to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to undertake a visit to Pakistan, while Foreign Minister Szijjarto extended an invitation to the prime minister to visit Hungary. – TLTP