ISLAMABAD - Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar said on Sunday the federal government was committed to development of Balochistan province especially Southern areas of the province.

The minister said this after arriving in Khuzdar on a two day visit to southern districts of Balochistan.  Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal, Deputy Speaker National Assembly, Qasim Suri and Secretary Planning also accompanied the Minister.  During the visit to Khuzdar, the Ministers were briefed on the on-going development projects in Kalat Divisions. The Ministers also visited various sites in Khuzdar and Awaran.

The Minister for Planning said the Federal Government is committed to the development of Balochistan and this commitment was reflected in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) allocations during the current year, for various projects in Balochistan, which is in excess of Rs 80 billion.  He said that the government would ensure that the budget funds were fully and effectively utilised.  The visit is a part of government’s efforts to design and implement a development plan for southern Balochistan, to improve the standard of living of the people of these districts.

The Federal and Provincial governments are closely working together on the plan, which is likely to include infrastructure improvements, like roads, small dams and IT connectivity as well as interventions for increasing agricultural and horticultural opportunities.  Setting up of fruit processing industries as well skill development centres is also a part of the plan. Proposals for attracting private sector involvement are also being considered. The delegation will also visit Turbat and Gawadar.