PESHAWAR: A joint committee comprising federal secretaries planning and finance as well as secretary finance K-P was constituted on Thursday evening for chalking out a comprehensive strategy for further improving the planning, funding and execution of the accelerated development and welfare initiatives for the merged districts within two weeks.
The need for the constitution of the committee was felt during a high-level meeting on Thursday as both the provincial and federal governments have not only prepared an unprecedented development and welfare programme for these previously ignored areas but both of them are funding these too.
Thus, the committee will deliberate upon and submit its report to both the federal and provincial governments for ensuring the timely and up to the standard execution of the projects under these programs.
Besides senior level officers from the ministries of finance and planning, K-P Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, federal ministers Asad Umar and Makhdum Khusro Bakhtuyar, PM’s Adviser Mohammad Shehzad Arbab and K-P Finance Minister Taimur Salim Jhagra participated in the meeting.
Lauding the sacrifices of the people of these districts, the participants reiterated the commitment of the PTI led governments both in the centre and the province to bringing these districts at par with those of the developed areas of the country. They also appreciated the K-P government for completing the administrative merger of these districts within a short span of just three months and resolved that the gap between other parts of the country particularly the province and these districts from the development and modern welfare facilities points of view too will be bridged with the same vigour, dedication and speed.
The meeting thoroughly discussed the funding of these initiatives so that the lack of resources may not create hurdles for the execution of these projects. It was also revealed at the meeting that the K-P government has already assigned and distributed the preparation of different but numerous welfare and development projects which are either mostly ready or are at the final and approval stages.
Consultation process initiated
Earlier this week the provincial government has started consultations with all stakeholders in the merged tribal districts for taking forward the 10-year development plan.
Premier Imran Khan had tweeted: “living up to our commitment. A three-week consultative process on 10-year development plan for former Fata is being initiated, starting from Bajaur. Our people in the tribal area will see unprecedented development as government plans to spend over Rs100 billion annually for ten years in tribal districts.”
K-P CM Mahmood Khan also posted his video message regarding this consultative meeting which will be held at 25 tehsils of erstwhile Fata. CM Mehmood had urged all stakeholders of merged tribal districts to put their suggestions for this 10-year plan.
The first meeting of the consultative process was held at Khar the district headquarters of Bajaur tribal district, which was attended by representative of UNDP, K-P Health Minister Hisham Inamullah Khan, MNA Guldad Khan and others.
Bajaur Deputy Commissioner Usman Mehsood who organised the consultative meeting termed the process fruitful.
It was first of the meetings held on the special directive of PM Imran Khan where 50 people from various walks of lives were invited have put their valuable suggestions regarding improvement of health, education, and other institution in the district. He told that aim of this meeting was to chalks out ten years’ developmental plan for merged tribal district, the next meeting of the same was held at sub divisional head quarter Nawagai on Tuesday 19.
Mohmand district administration also convened a consultative meeting in the district head quarter at Ghallanai on Wednesday, in Baiazai on Thursday and and lower Mohmand on Friday.
The district administration has issued invitation cards to traders, social workers, media persons, community leaders, social mobilisers and political activists.
It is worth noting that The provincial government has started already taking recommendations in newly formed tribal districts for the multibillion rupees 10-year development plan project.
According to reports the special committee for the development of tribal areas has formed a plan for the visits across the districts while the committee has started taking recommendations from the people of Bajaur district.
Under the 10-year plan, Rs433 billion will be spent on the construction of roads, maintenance of energy, water resources, municipal services and development of urban areas while Rs409 billion have been allocated for human development in which education and health will be preferred. Further, Rs251 billion will be used to boost the economic activities in these areas including agriculture, irrigation, forestry, mining and other sectors whereas Rs134 will be spent on special services sector including improvement and provision resources in government offices.
The provincial government has termed it mandatory to take recommendations from the people of the related districts in order to allocate funds for projects as people’s needs.
The special committee would also sit with the district administrations of all the related districts.
With additional input by Mureeb Mohmand
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2019.