Saturday, January 23, 2010

Investors urged to tap Gilgit-Baltistan gems

By:Farooq haidar
Gilgit-Baltistan Governor Qamar Zaman Kaira has said the area is rich in precious stones which will be tapped through introduction of modern technology and investment.
Talking to APP here on Saturday, he said a comprehensive plan was being prepared to bring investment in various sectors and develop the area to bring it at par with other regions in the country.

Mr Kaira said tourism, mining and hydel-power potential of Gilgit-Baltistan would change the fate of the region and local and foreign investors would be invited and offered incentives.

He said the best way to solve problems of Gilgit-Baltistan was political empowerment of people and a democratic system of governance had been introduced to give rights to the people of the area and ensure their prosperity.

Mr Kaira said that in the current financial year budget for the area had been enhanced and more than Rs10 billion had been allocated in PSDP for development of the social sector.

He said a committee comprising senior officers and technical people had been formed by President Asif Ali Zardari to plan uplift programmes which would forward its recommendations soon.

He said that in the initial stage some officers would be transferred to GilgitBaltistan to run the administration and the National Institute of Public Administration would be asked to set up its campus in Gilgit to train local officers.

The governor said the Gilgit-Baltistan Public Service Commission would be set up soon to create more job opportunities and train educated people of the area through NIPA.

?The other thing we are planning is that GB officers will be sent to other provinces to get four to six months? training. Also officers from other provinces will be sent to GB for training purpose,? he said.

The governor said the judiciary was independent and the number of judges in the Chief Court had been increased from three to five to deal with pending cases.

He said that elections would be held on Nov 12 and elected representatives could bring further improvement in the self-governance order.

Mr Kaira said the government had decided not to change limits of constituencies of the Legislative Assembly which itself was manifestation of the fact that it was fully committed to free and fair elections.

He said Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani would visit Gilgit-Baltistan after Eid and announce an economic package for the

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