By Shabbir Mir
GILGIT: Development projects worth Rs200 billion are being initiated in Gilgit-Baltistan, said Chief Minister Hafeezur Rahman.
He was speaking to the media in Gilgit on Thursday. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has shown a keen interest in ensuring the welfare of the people of G-B,” said Rahman. “Plans to establish a university in Baltistan, initiate a hydel power project at Hainzal and open schools in various districts serve as welcome proof of this commitment.”
According to the chief minister, 17 MWs of electricity will be added to the grid over the next 100 days. “Rescue 1122 services will be extended to other parts of the region,” he said. “This will include Diamer and Ghanche.”
Raising the bar
The chief minister added Nawaz has increased the G-B government’s limit to approve development projects from Rs400 million to Rs750 million.
“The decision was made during the PM’s visit to Gilgit in September,” he said.
According to Rahman, the increase in the ceiling will allow the government to incorporate more development schemes and iron out some of the problems involved in their implementation.
“In the past, projects worth over Rs40 million would be delayed as the executive committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) was the ultimate forum to determine their fate,” he said. “The prime minister’s decision will help speed up work on such projects. Progress on a majority of these schemes remained stagnant during the previous government.”
Inheritance of loss
Rahman also took a swipe at the previous G-B government for failing to implement development schemes. According to the CM, corruption had become rampant during the tenure of the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government, which bowed out in December 2014.
“The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government inherited over 105 development projects, which were not completed even though all payments had been made in advance,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2015.