Plight of less developed areas

CHAIRMAN Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas Usman Khan Kakar has raised a very pertinent point – 64% area of Pakistan is less developed but the Government has been spending more on developed parts of the country. In an interview, he pointed out that less developed areas are full of natural resources such as coal, oil, gas, minerals and water but they have been ignored.
One must appreciate the point raised by the Chairman of the Committee as development of the less-developed region is a must for overall socio-economic progress of the society and improve life of those living in backward areas. However, we would disagree with the honourable Senator who puts all the blame on the Federal Government in this regard. First of all, the provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan have their own Governments that get more share from the federal divisible pool of taxes and it is fundamentally their responsibility to spend more on less developed areas. Secondly, tribal chiefs and feudal lords have been resisting efforts by the successive Government to create infrastructure and open schools and hospitals in their areas fearing that greater mobility, interaction and awareness would loosen their grip over the unfortunate souls living there in miserable conditions. It is not possible to launch mega projects in all parts of the country in one go but it is pertinent to point out that in some areas of Balochistan attacks on workers engaged in development projects and on important installations themselves has become order of the day. Why provincial governments and elected leaders are not extending cooperation in overcoming the challenge? There are also genuine complaints that people in most of these areas are not paying their electricity and gas bills and elected representatives only exploit the issue politically and play no role in resolution of this problem. We hope that the Senate Committee would look into these and other relevant issues and come out with workable proposals to help accelerate the process of socio-economic development in less developed areas of the country.

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