PM Abbasi promises to resolve G-B tax crisis
SKARDU: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said completion of term by the democratic governments was important to effectively address the problems of the people.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the Gilgit-Baltistan University, the PM said the PML-N did not believe in making
The university was earlier the campus of Karakorum University which has been converted to G-B University. He mentioned that he was in particular advised by former premier Nawaz Sharif to complete all the earlier launched development projects of G-B.
The issues of taxation for G-B would be resolved, he said adding the lingering issue of timber policy had been resolved and hoped that it would be the last amnesty scheme. He urged the people to plant more trees and said Pakistan was facing serious climate issues and needed more tree plantation.
HEC Executive Director Dr Arshad Ali briefed the PM about the establishment of the G-B University for which 1,500 kanal has already been donated by the G-B government. Set up at a cost of Rs 1.77 billion, the university would cater to needs of around 2,000 students.
The university would have separate male and female hostels for 200 students each, laboratories and academic blocks.
Ali said two out of 10 districts in G-B would host universities, while sub-campuses would be set up at Ghizer, Chillas and Hunza.
Earlier, Prime Minister Abbasi unveiled the plaque of the G-B University. The event was attended by the GB Governor Mir Ghazanfar, Chief Minister Hafiz Hafizur Rehman, the Council members, Minister for Kashmir Affairs Barjees Tahir and DG Frontier Works Organization (FWO) Major Gen Muhammad Afzal.
G-B Council approves budget
The G-B Council on Wednesday approved a budget with a total outlay of about Rs2.4 billion for financial year 2017-18.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is also the chairman of the council, chaired the meeting.
Although the centre would continue funding of projects under PSDP, Abbasi said the council members should find means for generating funds for local projects. He said the G-B leadership had to take difficult decisions.
Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Barjees Tahir giving details of the budget said Rs2.4 billion will come from tax receipts, while the total expenditure was estimated at Rs2.2 billion.
He said Rs1.4 billion have been allocated for development projects while Rs0.72 billion for non-development projects. The meeting also approved Rs200 million for the construction of G-B Council Secretariat Building in Islamabad, Rs100 million for purchasing land for G-B Council Department in Gilgit and allocated Rs500 million for community development in G-B.
Prime Minister Abbasi was given a briefing on the 64-kilometer-long Gilgit-Jaglot-Skardu highway that will be completed at a cost of around Rs31 billion by December 2019, six months earlier that the scheduled completion time.
National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarar said the road would have double the width of 40 feet including its shoulders and would be much safer and fast than the existing road.
Premier Abbasi expressing satisfaction over the pace of work appreciated FWO DG Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal for undertaking a very difficult task and that too before schedule.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2017