‘Elite culture’ responsible for economic divide in society: PM

QUETTA – Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday that his government had focused on bringing a revolution of prosperity in Balochistan through projects of infrastructure and human development.

While addressing the participants of a ceremony held in connection with groundbreaking of three roads under National Highway Authority (NHA), the prime minister said Balochistan had been long neglected in the past and the government would take every step to minimise the suffering of locals.

Imran Khan said despite financial constraints, his government was committed to divert funds towards the development of Balochistan. The prime minister who arrived in Quetta on a day-long visit launched the projects including construction of 162-kilometre Ziarat Harnai road, the 23-kilometer dualization of Quetta Western Bypass (N-25) and construction of 11-kilometer Dera Murad Jamali Bypass (N-65).

The prime minister mentioned that compared with the 1,100-kilometre roads constructed by previous governments in 15 years, his government completed 3,300 km in two-and-a-half years. He said the entire area along the western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be developed. 

Imran Khan said caring for humanity was the main driving force that placed the nation at high pedestal of morality. He regretted that had serious steps taken in past, the country would have undergone immense development. He termed ‘elite culture responsible for economic divide in the society and stressed the need for a model of development for all, including rich and poor.

PM to discuss KP health coverage model with Balochistan govt

Imran Khan said Balochistan suffered apathy of previous rulers who had the mindset to ignore the province.

However, he said, his ideology was about making Pakistan rise by uplifting its weaker segments. He said China’s development and its strategy to bring people out of poverty was exemplary and added that Pakistan could learn from the same model.

He mentioned that after Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, the government was expanding the network of Rs 0.1 million health insurance per household in Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan, and said the same would be discussed with the coalition government of Balochistan.  

 

He said the project of direct subsidy to farmers on seeds and fertilizer under Kisan Card had been launched while 80 percent data of deserving families had been registered for Ehsaas socio-welfare programme. 

Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan said during last 15 years, the previous governments left several development projects in tandem, while the incumbent was focused on their completion.

He emphasised on enhanced connectivity of Quetta with Naseerabad and Sibbi through dualization to facilitate farmers and traders from adjoining areas. He said the construction work on roads and dams would ensure the development of militancy-hit areas that had long witnessed unrest and suffering.

He said the provincial government was spending Rs 35 billion out of its own resources for the development of Balochistan besides the Rs 20 billion allocated by the federal government.

Minister for Communication Murad Saeed said the projects would usher in a new era of development in the province. He mentioned that Imran Khan started the western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor from Balochistan, turning the dream of prosperity into reality. 

The prime minister was also given a briefing on the overall situation of Balochistan and the development projects.

‘Progress of Baluchistan’ 

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that the federal government was taking all out measures for the progress and prosperity of the people of Baluchistan on priority basis. He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting held here regarding the overall situation in Baluchistan and development matters.

 

Federal Ministers Asad Umar, Murad Saeed, Zubaida Jalal, Governor Baluchistan Justice (r) Amanullah Khan, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Provincial Ministers and senior officers attended the meeting.

 

Chief Secretary Baluchistan briefed the prime minister in detail about the situation of coronavirus in the province, precautions and the measures being taken to tackle the situation. The meeting was also briefed about the availability of essential items at affordable prices in the holy month of Ramazan, provision of funds for the completion of development projects in the province at federal and provincial levels, utilization of energy resources especially the renewable energy and the proposed recommendations for agricultural development.

 

The prime minister was briefed about the setting up of border markets along the Pak-Iran bordering area and the various recommendations for benefiting from the opportunities of socio-economic development.

The meeting was also briefed about overall law and order situation in the province and the capacity building of police and Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).

The prime minister appreciated the proposals regarding the law and order and economic development of Baluchistan and directed relevant federal institutions to finalize the recommendations and proposals of the provincial government.

 

‘Balochistan’s promising fisheries sector’

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said the coastal areas of Balochsitan offered immense potential in fisheries and asked the local youth to learn techniques to fully tap the opportunities for revenue generation.

Addressing at the ceremony of soft loan distribution among youth of Balochistan under Kamyab Jawan programme, the prime minister said the government would support the youth through proper training in fisheries and help them run their own businesses. 

 

The prime minister expressed satisfaction over the allocation of Rs10 billion for the small business and skill development of the people of Balochistan. He proposed that learning of cage fishing technique as an aquaculture fish production system could prove beneficial for poor fishermen who were struggling to meet their ends. He pointed that big cartels in fishery sectors were an impediment in removing poverty of fishermen. Imran Khan said promotion of fisheries sector would help uplift the youth of Balochistan and would ultimately benefit Pakistan. 

Senior Leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Muhammad Usman Dar, who is leading the Kamyab Jawan project said loans amounting to Rs8 billion had been disbursed among 10,000 youth which had helped create around 70,000 employment opportunities.

 

He said in line with the directions of prime minister at least Rs5 billion would be distributed among the youth of Balochistan by this year end for supporting them in setting up their own businesses.

 

Earlier, the prime minister gave away cheques of soft loans to the successful candidates of Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) from Balochistan. The programme was launched in October 2019 under the banner of Kamyab Jawan Programme to provide the youth soft loans for initiation of their own businesses. Recently, the government has enhanced the scope of YES which was meant to offer huge amount of concessionary loans ranging between Rs 100,000 and Rs 25 million to the youth. Earlier, it was limited to Rs 5 million only.

 

According to the State Bank of Pakistan, the financing under YES has been segregated into three tiers. Under tier-1, loan limit is from Rs 100,000 up to Rs 1 million, whereas tier-2’s loan limit is from above Rs 1 million and upto Rs 10 million and under tier-3, loan limit is from above Rs 10 million and upto Rs 25 million. For tier-1 loans, mark up rate is 3 percent, while mark up rate for tier-2 loans is 4 percent, and for tier-3, mark up rate is 5 percent.

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