ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has said that the federal government accords the highest priority to the timely completion of the ongoing development projects in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), adding that Rs 15 billion will be given to the federating unit for the said purpose.
He stated that the PTI-led government is committed to bringing the region at par with other areas of the country in terms of socio-economic development.
The minister was talking to GB Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman who called on him here at Islamabad on Monday. Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan and senior officials were also present in the meeting.
The minister said that the GB would gain maximum benefit from the CPEC adding that the gamechanger project would not only usher in prosperity in the region but also lead to infrastructure development. During the meeting, the minister apprised the CM about rationalisation of Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) under which Rs 15 billion would be given to the GB for its development schemes for the ongoing financial year.
The GB chief minister thanked the federal government for approving Gilgit-Skardu road project, adding that its completion would reduce the distance from 09 hours to 02 hours. He requested the federal government to consider sharing the cost of a sewerage treatment plant project in Gilgit which stood at Rs 4 billion as there was no proper sewerage system in the city.
Bakhtiar assured of cooperation in considering to share the cost of the project owing to health hazards for the people of the area and directed the officials concerned to look into it in this regard.
GB CM FINALLY MEETS PM:
GB CM Rehman called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM Office and the two leaders discussed the development projects of the area.
Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiar was also present on the occasion, a statement issued by the PM Media Wing said.
A week days ago, PM Khan had reportedly cancelled a scheduled meeting with a high-level delegation of the GB government, CM Rehman said.
While addressing a press conference at GB House in Islamabad, he said, “We were told at 11pm that our meeting is cancelled while we had fixed our meeting with PM Khan some two days ago.”
“We are trying to meet the prime minister,” he said, adding that the federal government has cut down development funds of the region. “If you do not want to give us more, at least give us what has been already approved.