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ISLAMABAD: The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs discussed progress on the special development package for Neelum Valley and the ongoing work on PSDP projects in Azad Kashmir.

The committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Committee Chairman Senator Sajid Mir.

Additional Chief Secretary Planning and Development Azad Kashmir gave a detailed briefing to the committee regarding the progress on the special development package for Neelum Valley and the ongoing work on PSDP projects in Azad Kashmir.

The official told the committee that Khel road has been repaired.

The concerned authorities while giving a briefing said that 76 per cent of the 48 megawatt Jagran-2 project in Neelum Valley with the support of the French Development Agency has been completed.

France has to give 85 per cent of the loan for this project while the remaining 15 per cent will be paid by the government of Pakistan.

They said that a total of 100 megawatts of electricity will be generated from Jagran in the near future, which will be added to the national grid.

The officials further said that for the project of 40 megawatts in the Neelum Valley is under the process.

They said there is an agreement with Kuwait for which the process of obtaining NOC is in progress.

While giving a briefing regarding the ongoing project in Neelum Valley, the concerned officials further said that the practical work on the 50.352 km Shahrada-Nuritop-Jhalkhand road is expected to start next year- after completing all the work from our side, all the work has been handed over to the NHA.

They further said that approximately 57 - 77 per cent of the work on Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Medical College Mirpur and Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq Shaheed Medical College have been completed, now more funds are required.

Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Medical College Mirpur is to be completed in 2023, but due to lack of funds, it is difficult to complete this project in 2023.

Secretary Affairs of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan said that the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms have come together. Efforts are needed to complete these medical colleges on priority basis.

The chairman committee expressed his displeasure over the non-provision of funds for various types of projects on time.

He gave instructions regarding the release of funds to complete the development projects.

He also ensured payment of salaries to the employees who have not received their salaries.

Secretary Affairs of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan said that due to non-appointment of the Principal Accounting Officer, there was difficulty in the issuance of funds which would be resolved once the appointment is made.

Member Committee Senator Shahadat Awan informed the relevant authorities about the past activities of the Standing Committee and the suggestions given - the committee expressed displeasure at the non-implementation of the suggestions of the committee and gave instructions to implement/present all the suggestions of the committee.

Also, directed to inform the committee about the progress as soon as possible. Senator Shahadat Awan said that Kashmiris have made a lot of sacrifices for their rights, they should raise their voice in every forum in an effective manner.

The committee also provided the details of the plots allotted to non-Kashmiris.

The officials will ensure the implementation of all the recommendations of the committee.

The report regarding the implementation will be submitted to the committee soon in the next meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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