ISLAMABAD: A high-powered committee has been formed by the federal government to recover money from the provinces which they had committed to providing for the development of the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (Fata).
This was disclosed by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday while chairing a high-level meeting in Islamabad to review development projects in newly merged tribal districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
A statement released from the PM Office’s media wing, the meeting was attended by Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, Adviser on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Special Assistant to PM Dr Shahbaz Gill and other senior officials. K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, K-P Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra and Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht attended the meeting through a video link.
Later, in a video press briefing, Faraz said that the prime minister had reviewed the pace of development projects in erstwhile Fata.
He said that PM Imran had emphasised that people of ex-Fata, and its youth, were very dear to him.
The people of ex-Fata have always rendered great sacrifices for Pakistan, and during the war against terrorism they had to face great hardships, Faraz quoted a premier as having said, adding that PM Imran was taking a special interest in the development and progress of these areas.
Further, Faraz said that PM Imran wanted the immediate development and progress of the erstwhile tribal areas.
The information minister noted that under the 2018 arrangement, the federal government has released its share of funds for the uplift of ex-Fata but the same could not be said of some provinces.
In this regard, he said that the federal government has set up a committee under the Adviser on Finance Sheikh to look after issues faced in these areas and to coordinate with the provinces to ensure the availability of funds for the development of ex-Fata.
Senator Faraz expressed the hope that groundwork on development projects in the merged areas will commence in the upcoming fiscal year.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2020.
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