ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif confessed on Monday that he has a soft corner for “socio-economic development in Balochistan”, explaining the keenness of his government to allocate substantial funds to the province.
He made these remarks at the inaugural ceremony of Balochistan Development Forum.
In the past, PM Nawaz said the province lagged behind in terms of development. But now he said that both the federal and provincial governments were taking measures to ensure there is sustained growth and peaceful environment in Balochistan.
Balochistan’s development, the prime minister affirmed, is close to his heart and despite constraints substantial resources were provided by the federal government to supplement the efforts of the provincial government and meet the needs of the people.
The federal government, the premier noted, had also launched a project of Rs4 billion, in collaboration with the provincial government, for construction of houses for earthquake survivors in Awaran district.
PM Nawaz said allocation of Federal Public Sector Development Programme this year for Balochistan had been substantially enhanced with Rs61 billion which was 37% higher than the financial year 2012-13.
He added that Rs15 billion had been earmarked in PSDP 2014-15 as a Special Development Package for Balochistan, which was the highest amongst all provinces.
The prime minister said during the current financial year against the budget estimates of Rs162 billion, about Rs80 billion had been transferred to the government of Balochistan.
To meet the electricity demand of Balochistan, he said, a 300MW power plant is to be set up in Gwadar while two additional transmission lines – 220KV Dadu-Khuzdar and 220KV DG Khan-Loralai – have already been completed.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met a delegation led by Jin Yong Cai, executive vice-president of International Finance Corporation (IFC), a constituent body of the World Bank at the PM House.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2015.