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Package of Growth, Hope and Development Underlined for Balochistan under CPEC in NDC Meeting

  • August 9, 2019
Package of Growth, Hope and Development Underlined for Balochistan under CPEC in NDC Meeting
Image caption Package of Growth, Hope and Development Underlined for Balochistan under CPEC in NDC Meeting

ISLAMABAD: Primarily focusing on a plan for the socio-economic uplift of Balochistan and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the first meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) on Thursday at the PM’s Office.

The forum approved the undertaking of feasibility studies for a port in Gadani and the establishment of a special economic zone in Hub.

It also gave the nod to the formation of the National Coastal Development Authority for building tourist resorts in the coastal areas of the province including Jiwani, Gwadar, Pasni, Makola, Ormara, Kund Malir, Hingol Park and Miani Hor.

On the development of ports, the forum endorsed the proposal for the development of eight landing sites and promoting the local boat industry by providing 10,000 green boats.

On the strategy for utilising Balochistan’s mineral resources, the forum was informed that the province would be divided into four zones — Chagai, Quetta-Duki, Khuzdar-Lasbela and Coastal Zone — and an appropriate model would be put in place to encourage private investment in large-scale mining.

It was decided that every possible effort would be made to increase the annual development spending of the province over the next nine years enabling it to overcome infrastructure challenges, reduce its budget deficit and enhance its revenue generation capacity.

The participants of the meeting were informed that the M-8 Motorway project, the 819-km long Chaman-Quetta-Karachi Motorway, Basima-Khuzdar Road and the 124-km long Awaran-Bela Road would significantly improve connectivity and the communication infrastructure in the province.

On the development of the oil and gas sector, the forum was informed about the efforts being made to develop four new blocks — Block-28, Zhob, Zorgarh, Jandran and Kohlu — for exploration, in addition to carrying out seismic survey at 30 onshore sites.

It was also briefed about various plans for the improvement of agriculture and water-management in the province.

The forum, in principal, approved the constitution of the CPEC Authority for ensuring fast-track implementation of the projects under the plan.

Discussing the development of Gwadar and its master plan, the forum approved the conceptual framework of the Gwadar Special Economic District.

The NDC forum also discussed the ‘Accelerated 10-Year Development Plan’ for the erstwhile Fata.

The forum reiterated the commitment of the federal government to ensure availability of the allocated funds to agencies executing the development projects — Nespak, the FWO and the NHA — and facilitate the screening of NGOs operating in the tribal districts.

The participants of the meeting were also informed about the measures to further improve the security environment in the province, especially border management, and improving the writ of the state.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, MNA Asad Umar and the Southern Command commander among others.

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