ISLAMABAD – Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin on Friday expressed government’s resolve for the development and progress of all provinces including Gilgit-Baltistan as the top priority of the present government.
Advisor held a meeting with Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Khalid Khursheed here at the Finance Division. Finance Minister Gilgit-Baltistan, Secretary Finance and other senior officers from Gilgit-Baltistan and Finance Division attended the meeting. The Chief Minister Gilgit- Baltistan apprised the advisor on the development and public welfare projects being carried out in Gilgit-Baltistan and financial requirements of the GB administration for the timely completion of projects to ensure good governance. Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin expressed government’s resolve for the development and progress of all provinces including Gilgit-Baltistan as the top priority of the present government. The advisor considered the requests of GB administration for creation of additional posts in different sectors, enhancement of tourism opportunities and meeting other requirements for good governance. The wheat issue in Gilgit-Baltistan was also discussed in the meeting and the adviser informed that it would be considered in the next ECC meeting. The advisor further assured his full support for the development of the GB area on priority basis and emphasized for regular consultation and coordination meetings between Gilgit-Baltistan administration and Finance Division for addressing and timely resolution of the issues. The Chief Minister thanked the adviser Shaukat Tarin for his support and encouragement.
Meanwhile, Khalid Khursheed Khan, Chief Minister, Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, also called on Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Islamabad. During the meeting, both sides discussed priority areas and ongoing development initiatives for uplifting Gilgit-Baltistan. Advocate Khalid Khursheed Khan, Chief Minister, Gilgit-Baltistan, briefed Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Economic Affairs, on the various initiatives taken by government of Gilgit-Baltistan and their future development needs and priority areas. During the meeting, it was agreed to establish a state-of-the-art Technical Training University in Gilgit-Baltistan. The development of technical skills can contribute to structural transformation and economic growth by enhancing employability, competitiveness and labour. In this regard, Economic Affairs Division will explore foreign technical and financial support whereas Government of Gilgit-Baltistan will provide around 800-1000 kanal land for construction of the university.
The Government of Gilgit-Baltistan also requested for upgradation of infrastructure in road and health sector, improvement in power generation, transmission and distribution system, expansion of health facilities and capacity building of public sector, especially in governance, finance & revenue, local government, public health, police and disaster management. It was also discussed to develop an alternate road network for connectivity between Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan through AJK which will not only reduce the traveling time & distance significantly but also promote tourism and boost economic activities in the region.
On the invitation of Chief Minister GB, it was agreed that Minister for Economic Affairs will visit Gilgit-Baltistan soon to discuss the development needs and priority areas in detail. It was also decided that Economic Affairs Division will hold a Donors Conference with bilateral and multilateral development partners at the beginning of next year to explore foreign technical and financial assistance for Gilgit-Baltistan.
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