PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan stated on Thursday that the overall recovery plan for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the seven new districts will integrate the whole region and bring its people in the national mainstream.
Provincial government will go all out to push for the implementation of the rehabilitation and reconstruction road map for the merged areas, he said, while chairing provincial cabinet meeting at Landi Kotal in Khyber district on Thursday.
With a beaming face, Mahmood said that it is a historic event to hold cabinet meeting in the merged areas. The distinction of tribal and settled areas was finally diminishing.
The aim of the meeting was to give development strategy for integrating the merged areas while sitting amongst the people of these areas.
Provincial ministers, advisors, special assistants, chief secretary, administrative secretaries and other officials concerned attended the meeting. Welcoming the cabinet members at the historic Landi Kotal meeting at Khyber Pass, the chief minister said that a new history was in the making finalising the development strategy and the spread of infrastructure for the efficient services and good governance for unhanded quality delivery to mainstream the people in the new areas in the national stream. It is not simply an integration but in reality it should be seen as an integration politically, administratively and more importantly for a uniformed just governance system.
The provincial government was expecting to receive the transfer of resources including Rs24 billion of Annual Development Programme (ADP), Rs10 billion additional and share pledged under the NFC formula. He directed the administrative departments to prepare SNEs and PC-1s for the creation of jobs and initiation of projects in the new districts.
The chief minister said that creation of 70,000 additional posts had already been approved in different departments to be proportionally distributed amongst the seven new districts. Locals would be recruited against these posts. The provincial government today decided relaxation for all recruitments and developments activities including the provision of resources in the erstwhile Fata areas. This relaxation will be strictly confined to the merged areas. CM Masood hoped that start of 32 sports events from February 15, 2019 would involve the youth in the recreational, athletic and healthy activities.
The chief executive of K-P also directed for the financial integration of extended institutions in order to complete the overall development strategy in the merged areas. He said: “merger plan was not an easy job to do. “Challenges will come and we will show matching resolve and commitment to overcome them.” “Youth employment programme with the cost of Rs1 billion will also be started through Bank of Khyber,” he said.
Playgrounds at Tehsil level would be established on war footing basis. The chief minister especially directed for expeditious completion of projects in health and education sectors and said that staff, equipment and all other facilities will be provided in these sectors on priority basis adding that deficiencies in health sector would be overcome through re-adjustment, posting of staff etc and making procurement under the relaxation given by the cabinet. He said that the provincial cabinet today approved giving Sehat Insaf Card to all in the erstwhile Fata. He also directed for accelerated progress on the solarisation of mosques and said that there should also be a plan for the solarization of other institutions. “We have already taken a unanimous decision for a tax holiday for newly merged districts of the erstwhile Fata and Pata as well in order to open up new vistas of development for the people of these areas.”
He noted considerable improvement in the overall law and order situation in the province after the merger. After the approval of the health policy the chief minister hoped better health care facilities in the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2019.