Islamabad   -   Deputy Chairman Planning Commission (DCPC) Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan has said that during ongoing fiscal year the development budget of Gilgit Baltistan has been increased by four times from previous Rs2.5 billion to Rs10 billion which shows the commitment of the Federal government for the development of GB.

The incumbent government is fully committed to achieving the objectives of political stability and socio-economic development. We believe that a stable and prosperous GB can play an important role in the country’s economy, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission said while addressing a Seminar on the “Socio-Economic Development of Gilgit-Baltistan” which was jointly organized by the Ministry of Planning Development & Special Initiatives and Planning Development Department of GB in Gilgit-Baltistan. The high-level forum, for the first time, deliberated upon the five year plan/ program developed for various sectors by the Planning Commission in collaboration with the Government of GB. The major sectors include infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, health, education, higher education, energy and gems and precious stones.

While addressing the seminar Deputy Chairman Planning commission said that, this year, the GB development budget was increased from Rs2.5 billion to Rs10 billion which is four times more than the previous budget, which shows the commitment of the Federal for the development of GB. He also said that the offices of federal agencies will also be set up here soon so that the people living here do not have to visit Islamabad frequently.

While talking on Energy issues DCPC said that, the Federal Government in collaboration with GB Government is planning to take certain important interventions such as; establishment of regional grid to reduce losses, evacuate surplus power to other load centres and ultimately provide a foundation for interconnecting GB with national grid. Deputy Chairman Planning Commission said that mineral sector development will be focused upon through strong R&D activities, regulatory framework, resources mapping and deployment of modern technologies.

While talking on Tourism of GB Jehanzeb Khan said that, we are planning to develop it as an industry. Several interventions have been identified to harness the potential such as infrastructure development, legal and regulatory framework, private sector facilitation, comfort of tourists and needs of the local community, marketing strategy and skilled development. DCPC said that the Government will focus on community based sustainable interventions capitalizing on the potential local resources, improvement in Human Development Indicators including health, education, water & sanitation and immunization. He said that the present Government have taken different steps to facilitate Public Private Partnership in certain mega projects under PSDP+. In GB we are looking for PPP in social sector for mainstreaming of vulnerable and socially excluded population.