Information Minister Gilgit Baltistan Fateh Ullah Khan says Information Department of GB is being strengthened to highlight the true potential of the region in diverse sectors.
In an exclusive interview with News and Current Affairs Channel of Radio Pakistan today, he said it is sixth year of the establishment of independent Information Department in the region.
Fateh Ullah Khan, who also holds the portfolios of Planning and Development, said the PTI-led government is giving special attention to this important department due to strategic location of Gilgit-Baltistan. He said qualified people are being inducted into Information Department so that it becomes vibrant in bridging the links between federation and Gilgit Baltistan.
The Minister said special focus is being made on promotion of Gilgit Baltistan through social media and a project in this regard will soon be launched in ten districts of the region.
Highlighting the need of engagement between media houses in Gilgit Baltistan and other areas of the country, he said there should be increased collaboration between media outlets in center with those in the region. He also emphasized the need of exchange of media delegations between Islamabad and Gilgit Baltistan. He said development of Gilgit Baltistan will add to development and prosperity of Pakistan. Appreciating the strong network of Radio Pakistan in Gilgit and Skardu, he said PBC is playing its role in information dissemination and highlighting the culture of the area.
Fateh Ullah Khan said Prime Minister Imran Khan is giving special attention to promotion of tourism in Gilgit-Baltistan that will result in revenue generation and employment creation for local people. He said culture, mineral resources, scenic places and other assets of the region will be highlighted before the world. In September, a conference titled GB Invest is being planned to showcase the potential of the area to the world.
Taking part in the programme, Finance Minister GB Javed Ali Manwa said PTI-led government has given a strong momentum to development of the region. He said the region holds great potential in terms of tourism, hydro power, forests, and minerals and mines which can help not only GB but also Pakistan in earning handsome revenue. He regretted that previous governments only made hollow promises of development but the situation has changed now. He said majority of the population of GB relies on businesses or public sector employment. He said if we are able to roll out development package of 370 billion rupees and extension of Public Private Partnership Authority in the region, we can attract national and international investments. These things will boost local economy as well as provide employment to people of the region.
Javed Ali Manwa said total revenue earned by GB last year was 88 billion rupees. He said education system in GB will be further improved. Policies are being devised to improve the structure of primary and secondary education in the area. The Minister said work is being done to formulate education policy on the guidelines of Ministry of Federal Education and Profession Training.
Referring to upcoming budget of GB, he said four projects worth 12 billion rupees have been approved in CDWP meeting. He said we have got approved 14 projects under the ambit of PSDP worth 102 billion rupees. He said funding around 25 billion rupees under local block allocation is yet to be finalized. He said wheat subsidy worth eight billion rupees will be provided to GB this year. He said budget around 160 billion rupees is expected to be presented this year.
Turning to corona situation in Gilgit Baltistan, he said the region despite its limited resources managed the situation in best way. He said due to the pandemic business activities were disrupted and trade with China was also impacted but now it is reopening.
Host: Javed Hussain
Co-Host: Aliya Qaiser
Producers: Asadullah Khan, Tariq Mehmood Awan
Executive Producer: Muhammad Tariq Chaudhary