Gilgit - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will address joint special session of GB Legislative Assembly and GB Council on Sunday.

According to official sources, the premier will announce the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order-2018 to replace the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-governance Order-2009.

The Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order-2018 is scheduled for approval from the federal cabinet on May 24, the sources said.

The new order has been approved by National Security Committee with amendments with the purpose of setting up the GB Advisory Committee.

According to Ashiq Hussain, deputy secretary legislation, the joint session of GB Legislative Assembly and Gilgit-Baltistan Council will be held on May 27. The Prime Minister will address the joint session under article-40 of Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-governance Order 2018.

Meanwhile, the people from various segments of society on Tuesday said that the grant of five years tax holiday, devolution of greater administrative authority and financial powers to Gilgit-Baltistan would help in bringing the GB at par with other provinces, the state-run APP news agency reported.

Ghazanfar, a resident of Skardu, said that the federal government had taken a laudable step and the people of the area were jubilant over the promulgation of the GB Order 2018.

The greater administrative and financial autonomy would help implementing various ongoing projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects with enhanced speed. The devolution of the greater administrative authority and financial powers to government of Gilgit-Baltistan would go a long way in development of the areas, he added.

The five years tax holiday would help create adequate incentives for the development of the region and ending sense of deprivation in the people of the areas. The retention of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Councils as advisory bodies were also a good step, he added.

The Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 would replace the GB Empowerment and Self-Governance Order of 2009. Gilgit-Baltistan has been declared tax free zone. The GB would enjoy the powers of a province.

The GB citizen is declared as a citizen of Pakistan, and he or she could file writ petition in Supreme Court of Pakistan. The powers would be transferred to GB Assembly.

The chief court would be granted the status of high court. The number of judges would be enhanced from 5 to 7. The GB Council would seize to exist and the GB Advisory Body would be constituted. Judicial Committee would be constituted for appointing the judges of high court. Members of bar council would be among the members of the committee. Prime Minister of Pakistan would appoint judges on advice of the committee.

Under the new order, all powers exercised by the GB council, including passing legislation regarding mineral, hydropower and tourism sectors, have been shifted to the GB Assembly. The name of the GB Legislative Assembly had been replaced with the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly.

All powers exercised by the 4 provincial assemblies under Schedule IV of the Constitution have been entrusted to the GB Assembly.