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Monday Jan 19, 2015

Efforts underway to ensure Balochistan’s development: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has cited past neglect as the reason Balochistan lagged behind in socio-economic development and stressed that both federal and provincial governments were taking measures to ensure growth and peace in the province.

Addressing the inaugural session of Balochistan Development Forum here on Monday, the Prime Minister said development of Balochistan was close to his heart and despite constraints the federal government provided substantial resources to supplement the efforts of the provincial government to address the needs of its people.

The Prime Minister mentioned some already taken corrective measures in shape of 7th NFC Award Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan, 18th Amendment and substantive allocations for development projects.

He said as the developmental gaps were huge it was imperative that synergies be created by development partners civil society and foreign and local investors to give new impetus to developmental efforts.

He said the federal government was also financing and implementing a number of projects in Balochistan to address major gaps in infrastructure as well as human development indicators in the province.

The prime minister mentioned construction of M 8 (Gwadar Turbat Hoshab and Khuzdar Ratodero) and N 85 (Hoshab Basima Sorab) which he said would greatly improve its connectivity with the country.

Prime Minister Sharif said that the federal government had also launched a project at a cost of Rs. 4 billion in collaboration with the provincial government for construction of houses for earthquake victims of Awaran District.

To meet the electricity demand of Balochistan he said a 300MW power plant was planned to be setup in Gwadar while two additional transmission lines 220 KV Dadu Khuzdar and 220 KV DG Khan Loralai had already been completed.

The Prime Minister said allocation of Federal PSDP (Public Sector Development Program) this year for Balochistan had been substantially enhanced with Rs 61 billion which was 37 percent higher than financial year 2012 13.

He added that Rs 15 billion had been earmarked in PSDP 2014 15 as a Special Development Package for Balochistan which was the highest amongst all provinces.

Nawaz Sharif said Balochistan enjoys central position and could become a regional hub for trade in goods and energy with its strategic location making it pivotal both for the East West and North South trade routes.

He said that Balochistan was going to be the main beneficiary under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and mentioned that developing Gwadar Port Gwadar Port City a modern new airport and improved inland connectivity would make Gwadar a hub of national and regional trade.

He said establishment of Free Trade Zones and Special Economic Zones in the province would underpin its prospects to become an attractive destination for foreign and domestic investment.

He said these initiatives would bring about a socio economic revolution for the people of Balochistan.

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