Donors Conference on Balochistan minerals soon: Post Budget Briefing

QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch has said that his government would call donors and investors conference to attract investment in minerals sector of the province.

He was speaking in Post-Budget Briefing at Chief Minister House, here on Friday. Provincial Minister and Parliamentary Leader of Pashtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party, Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal, Provincial Minister Nawab Muhammad Khan Shahwani, Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, Finance Secretary Dostain Jamaldini, Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani and other senior officials were present.

He said “We have no capacity to run project related to mineral sector, therefore, we decided to hire international and national standard consultancy besides arranging donors and investor conference to attract investment in mineral sector to boost the economy of the province”.

He said that a conference of non-governmental organizations would also be called in Quetta to dispel the impression that there is no suitable environment for investment in Balochistan. ?The poverty and backwardness of our province need support and financial investment to improve our human resources,” he said.

In reply to a question, the provincial government contended that inquiry has been ordered to probe into ongoing development schemes to ascertain their validity.

“The rules and regulations make bound to design uplift schemes to be completed within five years,” Provincial Minister Ziaratwal said and revealed that previous government also launched 13-year long development schemes. He added that although such schemes were inducted in Balochistan Financial Budget 2013-14, however, some schemes might be terminated after inquiry.

Dr. Abdul Malik said that Balochistan Fiscal Budget 2013-14 have no specific allocations for MPAs.

“Now MPAs fund would be utilized through departmental process and it would be spent where a government department point out its need like that construction of rooms for schools,” he said.

He said that total volume of Balochistan Budget for 2013-14 is Rs 198.395 billion including Rs 117.348 billion of ongoing expenditures, Rs 37.134 billion of investment expenditures, and Rs 43.913 billion of Development Expenditures.

He said that total receipts would be Rs 190.453 billion including Rs 161.398 billion of ongoing receipts, over Rs 29 billion of Investment receipts and Rs 3.981 billion of foreign aid.

The Chief Minister said that size of Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) is Rs 43.913 billion. The new Budget has deficit of Rs 7.942 billion, he said.

In answer to a query, he said that adequate funds have been allocated for Rekodeq, Sandak and other mineral related projects.

“We will take decisions on minerals projects keeping in view interests of people of Balochistan,” he said.

CM Dr. Abdul Malik said that Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif was giving special priority to solve issues of Balochistan by providing maximum financial support to the province.

“During my meeting with Premier Mian Nawaz Sharif, I have conveyed to the PM that federal allocations should be released to Balochistan total and timely those were made in federal PSDP,” Dr. Abdul Malik said adding that Premier Nawaz assured him that he personally would ensure their release.

He said that it is a truth that corruption had become a behavior and culture in government administration. “Roman empire was not ended within a day, so task to curb corruption would be completed through a process,” he said.

He said that over Rs 1.50 billion were earmarked in new budget for preserving rainwater, for provision of potable water and for irrigation sector. Chief Minister Inspection Team would conduct inquiry into the allegations of embezzlement of funds provided for repairing of Pat Feeder and other canals those suffered damages caused by flashfloods.

He said that allocation of over Rs 2.19 billion were made for energy sector to generate electricity from coal, solar and hydel projects.

“Rs 2.23 billion were allocated for boosting our agri economy,” he said.

He said that his government made efforts to resolve unemployment issue by allocating funds in new budget for creating 4493 new vacancies in government departments. He said that the province would get icome of Rs 6.467 billion from its own resoucrs.

He said that 15 percent increase in salaries was made for government employees from BPS-01 to 16 and 10 percent increase for BPS-17 and above.

“We have also increased pension of retired employees by 15 percent,” he said.

He said that grants for Pashto, Baloch and Brahvi academies were being increased and library and auditorium would be built in Quetta.