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Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar chaired a progress review meeting on GB development Plan here in Islamabad on Monday. CM Gilgit Baltistan Khalid Khurshid, Secretary Ministry of KA& GB, Secretary Planning, Secretary Water & Power, Chairman NHA, CEO PPP Authority, Additional Chief Secretary GB, Additional Secretary Planning, and other senior officers from Ministries and Division attended the meeting.
Additional Chief Secretary GB briefed the Minister on the GB potential projects in the public sector, non-PSDP initiatives, as well as in the Public-Private Partnership mode. The various priority sectors such as clean energy / Hydropower, health, education & Skill development, tourism, private sector development, agriculture, women development, social welfare and youth were discussed. The meeting was informed that all the Provincial departments are in contact with relevant Federal Ministries/ Divisions and PC-Is of the shortlisted schemes are being prepared by the respective departments.
GB Government placed special emphasis on clean energy to mitigate severe power crisis in the area, other priority sectors included tourism, gems and minerals, agricultural products, roads and communications and information technology.
Asad Umar stated that GB power sector should have a regional grid of its own as a connection to the grid posed a challenge due to the distance involved. He said that the aim in GB development package on the energy side is not only to produce energy but also to build the right institutional and regulatory framework and generation transmission distribution capacity as well.
Asad Umar directed the Ministry of IT and PTA to finalize the auction of 3G and 4G licenses in GB on priority basis as for remote areas the importance of IT is much bigger than large cities of Pakistan. Generating economic activities in remote areas will only be possible through strong IT infrastructure in the future. He said that one of the underlining principles is to create maximum employment opportunities for the youth and people of GB.
Asad Umar directed P3 Authority to assist GB government in strengthen GB PPP Unit and help in the identification of private sector partners. He called on the BOI to hold roadshows in two or three different cities in Pakistan where the federal and provincial governments could jointly market available public-private opportunities to potential investors.
Asad Umar directed Mo PD&SI to devise a strategy for training and capacity building of GB Officers and directed all the Ministries / Divisions to complete the feasibilities and submits the PC-Is to the CDWP so that activities on ground could start as early as possible.