QUETTA: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday directed fast-track implementation of development projects in Balochistan and announced an immediate grant of five billion rupees for Quetta in first phase.
The Prime Minister made the announcement during a presentation given to him by Chief Secretary Balochistan on development projects here this afternoon.
The Prime Minister gave in-principle approval of the construction of Sibbi-Hernai railway track.
He directed arranging funds for setting up Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) terminals in remaining 22 districts of Balochistan.
He also ordered a feasibility study to be conducted within 90 days for building water reservoirs and for improving canal distribution system in Balochistan.
He stressed to ensure both federal contribution and donor funding in this regard.
Sharif also directed to release remaining allocation for current financial year’s federal PSDP worth Rs. 62 billion.
He said the government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had prioritized provision of basic necessities of life to the people of Balochistan at their doorstep while improving infrastructure across the province.
The Prime Minister committed a generous assistance from federal government to meet development deficit of the provincial capital.
The Chief Secretary in his briefing said that due to the policies of the current government, there had been a paradigm shift from infrastructure to social and production sector.
As a result of this, the PSDP spending on education had been increased to 23.1 from 4.22 percent in 2012-13.
Similarly, spending on health had increased from 3.63 percent in 2012-13 to 9.01 percent in the current financial year, he added.
The Prime Minister was informed that 1840 development schemes and mega projects were underway in the province at a total cost of Rs. 112.871 billion.
The Chief Secretary said the federal Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) contribution during the current financial year was higher i.e. Rs. 62 billion, in comparison to the provincial allocation of Rs. 50 billion.
He said for the first time, 100 percent allocated amount of federal budget was released during the previous financial year for provincial projects.
The Prime Minister was informed that work on Katchi canal was underway and would be completed during this year.
After its operationalization, 54,000 acres of land would be brought under cultivation.
Governor Balochistan, Muhammad Khan Achakzai; Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch; Federal Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif; Federal Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafiq; Federal Minister for SAFRON, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch; Minister of State for Petroleum, Jam Kamal Khan; Balochistan Minister for Mines, Sanaullah Zehri and Balochistan Minister for Planning and Development, Hamid Khan Achakzai attended the meeting along with other senior provincial and federal government officers.