PM Imran rolls out historic development package for Gilgit-Baltistan


GILGIT – Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday unveiled a historic development package worth Rs370 billion for Gilgit-Baltistan.

The premier rolled out the mega package while addressing a ceremony in Gilgit. He said that it is the first time that such huge amount has been allocated for the scenic and strategically located region.

The development package covers projects related hydel power generation and transmission, tourism, youth skill development, health system, water and sanitation.

He revealed that the government is making efforts to upgrade the Gilgit airport so it could receive international flights, adding that development of infrastructure and small and medium enterprises is also the priority of the government.

Stressing on the exploitation of tourism industry’s potential, he said that the strategy will make the region self-reliant.

The premier said that there is need of promoting tourism in a planned manner to cultivate its true benefits. He stressed that promotion of the tourism should not be at cost the forests and the mountains.

He said the introduction of local government system in the region will uplift the region.

Talking about corrupt elements, he said that it is for the first time that big fishes have been brought to the accountability.

The premier was scheduled to unveil the package earlier this month but his trip to the region was postponed due to bad weather condition.

Last month, the premier had approved the package while chairing a meeting on Gilgit-Baltistan Integrated Development Plan, which is being dubbed as historic.

A hint about the package worth billions of rupees was dropped in January this year after Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar and Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid jointly chaired the inaugural meeting for preparation of an integrated plan for development of the region.

Following the meeting, technical working groups comprising relevant chiefs of ministry of planning and development and officers of GB were constituted.

An apex committee under the GB chief minister and an inter-ministerial committee under deputy chairman of the Planning Commission was also set to monitor the preparation and implementation of the development plan.

Later, the plan was chalked out in the light of the recommendations sent by the working groups and it was sent to the premier for approval.

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