Jobs South Balochistan should be the top priority: Asad Umar
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar on Tuesday directed the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Secretary Planning Development & Special Initiatives and Chief Secretary Govt of Balochistan to finalize the draft strategy on COMMAND AREA DEVELOPMENT (CAD) in Southern Balochistan before submitting it to the Prime Minister for final approval. Minister while chairing the meeting to review the progress on the draft strategy of CAD for Southern Balochistan, prepared by the Ministry of Water and Resources. The meeting was attended by Secretary Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Member Infrastructure. While Secretary Ministry of Water and Resources briefed the Minister about the draft strategy. The minister outlined the human development aspect, which is the most important element and has not been addressed properly in the draft strategy. “Our top priority should be to generate the employment opportunities for the local people of Balochistan particularly the locals of Southern Balochistan through these water projects, said the minister while stressing the Water and Power Resources shall focus on the missing ‘human development aspect’ in this draft strategy. “All the relevant stakeholders are directed to sit together to finalize the draft strategy before the final approval from Prime Minister,” the minister said. “These projects will have a positive impact on the lives of local people which must be the top priority,” he added. Secretary Water and Power Resources briefed the minister that 40 projects related to water is being executed in Balochistan funded by the federal government with the estimated cost of Rs 273 billion, while Rs 29 billion was allocated in fascial budget of 2021-2022. These projects will be completed in five years. The Secretary further informed out of 40 projects 10 water projects have been completed with the cost of Rs 2.0 billion while few are underway and new projects were also added. During the meeting, he also proposed to engage private sectors so farmers of the local areas could be assisted through these projects. He also proposed to constitute/PMU chaired by CS Balochistan, Secretary Irrigation, Secretary Agriculture, and representatives of Water and Power Resources and Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives will be the member of the Committee. The PMU will monitor and facilitate the speedy implementation of CAD under the draft strategy.