WB assures Government to continue its support in different social sectors

QUETTA: While lauding the financial and economic policies and reforms of the provincial government, the World Bank has assured Balochistan Government to continue its support in different social sectors.

A high level delegation of World Bank headed by its country Director Rachid bin Masoud called on Chief Secretary Balochistan Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad here on Monday.

Balochistan Government’s consultant for Economic Affairs Dr Qaiser Bengali, Additional Chief Secretary for Planning and Development Aslam Shakir Baloch and Secretary Finance Dostain Jamaldini were also present on the occasion.

During the meeting, the officials of provincial government and World Bank exchanged views on different affairs, including expending financial and technical support of World Bank, development of different sectors and strategy of partnership.

The country Director of World Bank said on the occasion, a comprehensive strategy is being devised by World Bank to provide technical and financial support to its member countries including Pakistan.

“The visit of Balochistan is aimed at to examine the demands and priorities of the province in the process of development to determine the support of Bank and in this connection meeting with the members of civil society and parliamentarians would also be carried out,” he added.

He termed the promotion of investment and development of private sector essential to achieve the required goals.

On the occasion, Chief Secretary Balochistan Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad told the delegation that in order to sustain the process of development, restoration of law and order is inevitable. Due to special focus of the provincial government, remarkable change has come in improvement of law and order.

“The trust reposed upon us by international organizations and federal government is matter of encouragement for us,” he added.

He said development of resources and spending them for the welfare and development of the people is among the first priorities of the provincial government. There are opportunities for the investment in different sectors in the province, he added.

CS said Chief Minister Balochistan is the head of a nationalist party and he belongs to a middleclass thus it is his first priority to bring moderation and tolerance in the society besides curbing the corruption and promoting transparency. He believes in complete provincial autonomy and played an important role in preparation of 18th Constitutional Amendment and its implementation. He is giving more priority to development of social sector particularly promotion of education. Thus, 6 per cent increase has been made in the current budget of education while health budget has been raised to 3 per cent.

Chief Secretary said participation of all political parties in the recent general election was a good omen and the representation of nationalists parties in the provincial assembly is result of maturity of people of the province.

He said provincial government has its own challenges which could be resolved through mutual understanding.

Terming Gwadar and Gadani Power Project unprecedented example of foreign investment, CS said provincial government would be partner in Gadani Power Project. “Without harming the interest of Balochistan all affairs would be resolved, including that of Reko Dik Project,” he added.

He told the meeting that in order to attract international investment and companies in Balochistan soon Balochistan Development Forum would be constituted in Islamabad which would be inaugurated by Prime Minister and the big and important investor companies would be invited.

Chief Secretary thanked World Bank for its financial and technical assisting in different sectors of Balochistan, including education agriculture, livestock, construction of small dams, restoration of Band Koshdil Khan and expected the World Bank would further extend its support.

On the occasion, Secretary Finance informed the delegation about the proper utilization of additional funds of provincial government policy, formation of Balochistan Energy Company, alternate projects of energy, Balochistan mineral company, formation of Balochistan Public Procurement Authority and other projects.

He said for the improvement of educational sector and increasing literacy rate in the province, Rs 5 billion Balochistan Educational and Endowment Funds, would be set through which poor students and educational experts would be given scholarship.