QUETTA: Debate on the provincial budget concluded at the Balochistan Assembly on Tuesday with a call for civility by Mir Khalid Langove, the finance adviser to Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch. Langove brushed aside the opposition’s concerns that they were granted no allocations in the discretionary development spending budget for legislators.
“The coalition government is moving forward to make Balochistan a peaceful and developed region and if any members’ development schemes are not included in the provincial physical budget, that’s not a big issue and we all should refrain from brawls with each other,” said Langove, even as he assured the house that reservations of opposition parties would be addressed on a priority basis
He claimed the provincial government has prioritised education and health development while drafting the 2016 budget. “The provincial government has regularised 7,200 Lady Health Workers and we have allocated significant funds for health facilities in district hospitals. We are going to build three new medical colleges in Balochistan.”
Langove said the provincial government has upgraded the Agriculture College to a university at a cost of Rs750 million.
On law enforcement, Langove claimed the provincial government is making progress. “After sacrifices of our forces, improvement has been seen in the law and order of Balochistan. Crime rates have decreased at a record level in the provincial capital and Khuzdar. Where once even politicians were reluctant to hold public rallies and gatherings, today anyone can do political activities with confidence,” he said.
He admitted that while the provincial government was flawed, they had made significant strides, which he wanted the opposition to acknowledge.
Addressing concerns about Gwadar Port, Balochistan Information Minister Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal said on the floor: “All benefits of Gwadar development projects should be given to the people of Balochistan first. We will not allow Gwadar to be turned into another Sui or Dera Bugti of the province,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2015.
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