GILGIT: The Prime Minister Youth Business Loans Scheme to provide the youth with loans of up to Rs2 million was kickstarted on Friday.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made an announcement in this regard while addressing the party workers here. He said that the scheme was being launched to help the youth stand on their feet. He said that this loan scheme had been extended to Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
Sharing the main features of the scheme‚ the prime minister said that skilled and educated youth, both male and female, could obtain loans up to two million rupees.
Nawaz Sharif made it clear that transparency would be ensured in development schemes to bring prosperity in the lives of the common people.
He reiterated his commitment for the development of Gilgit Baltistan and said that work on Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu dams would be immediately started while work on Bunji Dam would also be started soon. These projects‚ he said‚ would produce over 15,000 megawatt of electricity.
The prime minister said that the government’s focus was on the development of Gilgit-Baltistan and soon this area would be bracketed among the developed areas of the country.
Announcing a number of development schemes for Gilgit-Baltistan‚ the prime minister said that a cardiac centre would be established in Gilgit so that heart patients might not go to Islamabad and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for treatment.
He also announced establishment of a special police force for Gilgit-Baltistan, saying it would be equipped with the latest weapons and equipment in order to deal with security issues in the area.
He said that the government was in the process of purchasing new aircraft for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and with the procurement of these aircraft‚ the service of PIA to Skardu and Gilgit would improve.
Earlier‚ the prime minister inaugurated the newly-constructed terminal at the Gilgit Airport. He visited different parts of the building.
Speaking on the occasion‚ he directed to ensure proper maintenance of the airport and the lounge to facilitate the passengers.
The prime minister was informed that the new terminal had covered areas of over 39,000 square feet having capacity of 180 passengers.
Earlier, on his arrival, the prime minister was warmly received by the governor and chief minister at the airport.
Meanwhile, PM Nawaz Sharif performed ground breaking for the execution of a 14.4 MW power project in Naltar.
The ground breaking ceremony was attended by GB Governor Pir Karam Ali Shah, Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah and other government officials besides the Chinese team involved in the construction of the project.
The Naltar-V Hydropower Project would be executed by a Chinese firm as feasibility study has already been completed. The run-of-the river project would cost Rs3.84 billion and would be completed by 2016.
Once completed, the project would help overcome the power shortage confronting the area.
M Taqi Akhunzada adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Council budget meeting.
The GB Council approved Rs82 million of which Rs20 million were earmarked for development and the remaining for non-development expenditure. The GB Council adopted and extended various laws in the region, particularly maintenance of the law and order.
The prime minister during the meeting said that an industrial zone would be set up in the GB, leading to jobs and vibrant economic opportunities in the region. He promised to construct a land road from Skardu to Muzaffarabad.