ISLAMABAD: The government has initiated work on the integrated plan for the development of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar and Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Khalid Khurshid jointly chaired the inaugural meeting on Wednesday for preparation of this plan. Welcoming the Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister, Federal Minister Asad Umar said that the development needs of Gilgit-Baltistan had been neglected for a long time. He said that the Federal government and GB administration would jointly formulate and announce an integrated development plan for the people of GB. He directed the relevant departments to work together to identify potential projects in the public sector, as well as in the Public-Private Partnership model.
Chief Minister GB said that initiative taken by the Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives is the first if its kind for GB and it would greatly benefit the people of the area. He said that all the potential sectors should be included in this development package and it should be ensured that all projects start on time and are completed on time.
Secretary Planning Mathar Niaz Rana presented the broad contours of Gilgit Baltistan Development Plan and potential prioritized projects to be included in the plan by adopting an integrated regional development approach. Secretary stated that Ministry of Planning had already finalized the Karachi Transformation Plan and integrated development plan for Southern Balochistan under the directions of the Prime Minister. The GB development plan will be a continuation of the same process. He said that the area in which intervention will be prioritized include clean energy, Infrastructure, Tourism and allied facilities, hospitals management, gems & minerals, small industry, private sector development, commerce and border markets, e-commerce, dry ports, health, nursing, social welfare, poverty alleviation, women & youth development, education, agriculture, livestock fisheries, IT and telecommunications.
The meeting decided to constitute technical working groups comprising of relevant chiefs of M/o PD&SI and officers of GB. Apex Committee under Chief Minister GB and Inter-Ministerial Committee under the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission will monitor the preparation and implementation of the development plan.
Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Secretary Planning, Chief Secretary GB and other senior officials also attended the meeting.