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Senate committee recommends allocating funds for Gwadar University

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Planning Development and Reforms here on Tuesday recommended for allocating funds for the establishment of Gwadar University and East-bay projects in revised Public Sector Development Program (PSDP).

The committee which met under the Chairmanship of Senator Agha Shahzaib Khan Durrani, considered recommendations of the Members on the Finance Bill 2018 relating to Public Sector Development Program 2018-19.

The committee also proposed for safeguarding the interest of locals living in Gwadar as they have the first right on the resources. Members asked for taking steps for accommodating them to bring them in national economic mainstream. The committee also recommended for ensuring appropriate financing of the projects related to education, health and water conservation.

The meeting proposed for constructing cardiology unit in Balochistan Province in order to provide health facilities to the people of that area of the country. The Committee also sought the federal government’s intervention in the drought hit areas of the Tharr Parkar in order to control the malnutrition and stunted growth.

Meanwhile, Adviser on Planning Commission Asif Shaikh said that federal PSDP has been revised from Rs. 800 billion to Rs 675 billion. He said that a total of Rs 125 billion was slashed from the total PSDP for the year 2018-19, which will be spent on other priority projects of the social sector development in the country. He said that 400 unapproved development projects for financing under PSDP had been dropped and maximum efforts were made to continue all such projects where 10 percent was spent from the public money.

Asif Shaikh said that these projects would be considered after the approval of the relevant authorities for financing and funds. He informed that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was on the top priority and all the developmental projects would be financed and completed within the given time frame. He said that in PSDP, 2018-19 an amount of Rs 3 billion had been allocated for different projects under CPEC, besides making allocation for the different projects in Gwadar for ensuring their completion in time.

The committee expressed its serious concerns over the absence of Secretaries of Finance and Water and Power in the meeting and asked them to ensure their presence in the meeting.

Senators Kauda Babar, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar , Shaheen Khalid Butt, Hidayat Ullah, Momin Khan Afridi and Gianchand besides senior officials of Planning Commission, Finance, Water and Benazir Income Support Fund attended the meeting.

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