Islamabad ,Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, while chairing a meeting to review PSDP projects of KPK/FATA at the Prime Minister’s House on Tuesday said that the democratic government attached the highest priority to the socio-economic development of KPK/FATA because they were facing the major brunt of terrorism.
The meeting was attended by Governor KPK Barrister Masood Kausar and Chief Minister KPK Amir Haider Khan Hoti, along with Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Communications Arbab Alamgir Khan, Advisor to Prime Minister Syeda Sughra Imam, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeem ul Haq, Chief Secretary KPK Mr. Ghulam Dastgir, Chairman WAPDA Mr. Shakil Durrani, Chairman NHA Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi and the Secretaries of Ministries of Finance, Planning Division, Water and Power, Petroleum and the senior officials of the relevant ministries.
The Prime Minister said that the planning and development policy was being pursued as part of the government’s three-pronged counter-terrorism policy marked by Dialogue, Development and Deterrence.
The Prime Minister was informed that as per his instructions, a grant of Rs. 2 billion had been released for resuming the work on Lawari Tunnel which was stopped due to the non-availability of funds.
The Secretary Planning Division apprised the meeting that up to December, an amount of Rs. 11 billion had been released by December out of total allocation of Rs. 24 billion within current PSDP. He said that the work on 146 in KPK in Power, Highways, Physical Planning, Science and Technology, Health and Education sectors was in progress.
The Secretary said that as per directive of the Prime Minister, the priority was given to the projects which had been already completed to the extent of 60%.
Secretary Communications and Chairman National Highway Authority said that Mansehra-Naran Jalkot road was almost complete and the land acquisition for Hassanabad-Havelian Expressway was in progress.
Both roads would play an important role for transportation of heavy machinery required for building Bhasha Dam, he said.
Chairman NHA also apprised about the projects titled CRBC-Siaran Ghamila Road, Dargai-Chakdara Road, Teemargrah-Khagram Road, Dara Adam Khel-Badhber Road and Thankot Bridge were ready for inauguration.
Chairman WAPDA said that Khurram-Tungi Dam and Munda Dam were very important to give boost to the agriculture sector in KPK because the Dams had the capacity to store water up to 2.31 million MAF besides saving the people from flash floods. He further said that Dams would generate about 800 MW of power.
The Chairman further said that mega Dassu Dam having the capacity of 4300 MW electricity generation, was a promising project for which World Bank had expressed their willingness to extend assistance to build the bridge.
The Chairman also apprised the meeting that Tarbela-4 project was economically viable because the civil work was already in place and on completion it would generate an additional 610 MW of electricity.
The Secretary Planning Division informed the participants that on the instructions of the Prime Minister, allocation for FATA had been increased from Rs. 9 billion to Rs. 15 billion and more than 6 billion rupees had already been released up to December 2011.
The Secretaries of Finance and the Planning Divisions said that they would extend full support to FATA as per directive of the Prime Minister to establish Cadet Colleges in each agency with a view to provide quality education to the youth.
The mainstreaming of the youth would serve as bulwark against the forces of terrorism and extremism and help undermine the extremist tendencies, they added.
They also informed that the Federal Government would extend all possible assistance for the establishment of FATA University, FATA Medical College, and FATA Engineering University.
The Prime Minister directed the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission to supervise the progress in setting up institutions of higher education, of learning and excellence in FATA.
The Secretary Finance said that on the directive of the Prime Minister, they had already allowed FATA to recruit 1000 staff to be posted in the projects meant to provide services to the people.
The Secretary further said that the demand to recruit 6,000 more staff members would be met after the recruitment of 1000 new staff to begin with.
The Secretary also informed that Rs. 100 million was being released today for the Revolving Fund to pay compensation to the victims of terrorism.