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August 21, 2018

New planning minister briefed on dams, CPEC


August 21, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Newly appointed Minister for Planning Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar was informed on Monday that the government allocated Rs23 billion for Basha and Rs2 billion for Mohmand dams in the current fiscal year, and estimated time needed to complete Basha dam was ten years.

The minister visited his office in the ministry in P Block of the Secretariat after taking oath on Monday, where he urged for the need to find innovative ways to complete Basha Dam.

He attended the three-hour long briefing, and advised the concerned officials to focus on the social sector, without knowing that the social sector had been devolved to the provinces in the aftermath of the 18th constitutional amendments.

The minister also asked the authorities to focus on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) without going into details as to how these projects would be financed in the wake of severe fiscal constraints.

The minister was briefed by Secretary Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui on details of the federal development portfolio and status of Public Sector Development Program funds, releases and the ongoing projects across the country in different sectors. He was also informed of the several initiatives directly managed under the ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.

The secretary was assisted by the senior officials of the ministry and the project directors of the initiatives being executed by the ministry.

Talking to the officials of the ministry, the federal minister maintained that the government was all set to make human development, public health, women and child health, nutrition, water resources and dams, youth, female education, promotion of small scale and large scale business for youth, invite more investment and promotion of tourism across the countries, its top priorities as per the vision of the prime minister of Pakistan.

The minister said that the economic and domain experts from the ministry have to work hard to achieve goals, and for this purpose they were under obligation to devise short-term and long-term strategies with clearly defined milestones.

Bakhtyar emphasised that the ministry has to not only focus on taking new initiatives, but they have to ensure qualitative delivery and ensure measures to save public money in a cost effective manner.

The minister also chaired a meeting for getting briefed on CPEC projects. Planning secretary gave him a comprehensive briefing on current status of the projects and future plans. The minister gave directions on focus areas, including SEZs and the projects for socio-economic uplifting of the common man in less developed areas, especially in Gwadar. He emphasised on capacity building programmes and vocational training under CPEC to benefit in different areas of human development.

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