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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has directed the deputy chairman Planning Commission, secretary Planning Development and Special Initiatives and chief secretary Government of Balochistan to finalise the draft strategy on Command Area Development (CAD) in Southern Balochistan before submitting it to the prime minister for final approval.

The minister gave this direction 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.

“Our top priority should be to generate the employment opportunities for the local people of Balochistan particularly the locals of Southern Balochistan through water projects,” the minister said, while stressing the Water and Power Resources to focus on the missing “human development aspect” in this draft strategy.

“All the relevant stakeholders are directed to sit together to finalise the draft strategy before the final approval from the prime minister. 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 Rs273 billion, while Rs29 billion was allocated in budget of 2021-2022.

He said those projects would be completed in five years. The secretary further informed out of 40 projects, 10 water projects have been completed with the cost of Rs2.0 billion, while few are underway and new projects were also added.

During the meeting, he also proposed to engage private sector, so farmers of the local areas could be assisted through these projects. He also proposed to constitute a committee headed by the chief secretary Balochistan and its members secretary Irrigation, secretary Agriculture, and representatives of Water and Power Resources and Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives.

The Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) will monitor and facilitate the speedy implementation of the CAD under the draft strategy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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