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ISLAMABAD: A special parliamentary committee on formerly Fata regions has stressed the need for bringing the militancy-and terrorism-hit districts at par with the developed parts of the country by reviving economic and trade activities in the former tribal districts.

This was stated by National Assembly (NA) Speaker Asad Qaiser, while chairing the NA Special Committee on Development of Erstwhile FATA, here on Tuesday.

Briefing on the committee members, Federal Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin assured the members of his resolution to gear up his efforts for developing consensus among all provinces for allocation of three percent share from the divisible pool of 10th National Finance Commission (NFC) award for the formerly Fata districts. He also said that erstwhile FATA needed special focus due to its strategic location and 30 years of suffering.

The NA speaker appreciated the resolution of Federal Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin for making all out efforts to gear up the agreement for allocation of NFC three percent share for development of erstwhile Fata. Qaiser said that the government had consulted with all the stakeholders for progress and prosperity of former Fata region.

He said that erstwhile Fata had been facing the scourge of war on terror and it was time to prioritise development in the area aiming at reviving the economic and trade activity to bring prosperity in the area. He said that engaging youth in the development of erstwhile Fata would save them from the danger of being used by extremists.

Qaiser said the procedure of rehabilitation and compensation should be transparent and speedy as the peoples in the Fata had been suffering from the war on terror since last decade. He said that transforming war economy into a regular economy in the erstwhile Fata would ameliorate the socio-economic conditions in the area.

While taking notice of the stalled process of compensation in South Waziristan, the committee unanimously decided to move resolution for speedy mechanism of compensation to the war affected. The committee member also raised objections over the spending mechanism on projects of erstwhile Fata.

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Minister for Health and Finance Taimur Saleem Khan also informed the committee members about allocation of the PSDP funding for projects in the erstwhile Fata.

He said the provincial government in KPK was cognisant of the harsh circumstances faced by the people in the erstwhile Fata.

While responding to a question by member of the committee, he assured the committee members that the KPK government would ensure all possible ways and means to resolve issues faced by the people in the Fata. He also briefed the members about subcommittee meeting of 10th NFC Award, and said that taking reservations of all provinces on board was essential and he expressed his hope that soon a consensus would be developed.

MNA Junaid Akbar, chairman of the Special Committee on Development of Erstwhile Fata appreciated the concern of NA Speaker Qaiser for his support and their visit to Punjab province for developing consensus on the issue of three percent share for erstwhile Fata.

He said the committee members would soon visit Balochistan and Sindh in that regard.

In response to a briefing by representative of the FBR regarding exploring industrial and trade opportunities for development in the formerly Fata regions, the committee members expressed reservation about utilising the status of least-developed status in Afghanistan and the committee member also desired the opportunities hidden in the idea of revitalising the economy in the Fata. The committee members also unanimously agreed that the national level consensus was on board for allocating special fund for development in erstwhile Fata.

The committee members also unanimously extended the earlier limit of 45 days of three working groups formed under this committee.

A senior representative of local field formation from Khyber Tribal District briefed the committee members about mass rehabilitation and requirements of 15,961 IDPs families (93,699 male/female) in Tirah valley during the ongoing financial year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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