The Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit Baltistan met today under the Chairmanship of Senator Prof. Sajid Mir here at the Parliament House.
The committee while discussing the compliance report on recommendations/clarifications of the committee passed during its meetings held from 04-09-2023, 13-07-2023 and -2-02-2023; it was informed that the Director Municipality CDA has confirmed that Curfew Clock installed near Serena Hotel has been removed as per committee recommendations.
While discussing the committee recommendations on release of sufficient funds for timely completion of projects meant for increasing energy supply to Gilgit-Baltistan by Ministry of Planning & Development and Government of Gilgit- Baltistan it was argued that the Ministry is not trusted in matters between the two governments. The secretary ministry said that the Interim Constitution of Kashmir and the Gilgit-Baltistan Order are not being followed according to Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Karachi Agreement. The Secretary Ministry said that the salary of Chief Secretary of GB and Kashmir is paid by Ministry of Kashmir Affairs.
The secretary ministry said that the PSDP projects needs reviewing he said that the design and the execution of projects are faulty, he further said that they have budget restrictions he said that the fiscal space does not allow all the projects to be executed and said that only doable projects will be released while the rest will be taken up later on. He said that work has already started on this the reviewing of projects will be completed within a fortnight
The chairman committee stressed that the Ministry's relations with GB and Kashmir government should be further improved. The committee also argued that the GB and Kashmir need generators for power projects, the Secretary Ministry informed that this situation have arisen due to closure of LCs of projects. The Government of GB has extended a request to the State Bank of Pakistan urging them to facilitate the opening of letter of Credit (LCS) for banks. This initiative is aimed at expediting the procurement of Turbo Generating Sets (TG sets) for completed hydro power projects in anticipating of the upcoming winter season
The committee also received briefing on new phase of CPEC in Gilgit-Baltistan. The committee was briefed on the infrastructure projects. Project on improvement and widening of Gilgit Shandur road ( N 140) is a Rs 49.946 Billion project at a length of 216 Km. It was briefed that this road is declared as a part of CPEC alternate route, thus connecting the KPK with other regions. It was further briefed that the expected date of completion of project is November 4th 2024. Similarly the committee was briefed on re alignment of KKH phase –II (Thakot – Raikot Section ) and Babusar Tunnel project on N-15, the committee also took briefing on the socioeconomic development projects.
The meeting was attended by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, Senator Shahadat Awan and other senior officers of the attached departments.