BA members call for uplift schemes for Balochistan

QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution, asking the federal government to convene a meeting of the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) to approve development projects for Balochistan and include it in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).Sentiments ran high in the assembly over the ‘willful ignorance’ of the development projects in Balochistan by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC). The members of the provincial assembly (MPAs) viewed it as denial of resources and development schemes to this least developed province of the country.They also protested over ‘negative interests’ of the government and the bureaucracy towards Balochistan as there was no development scheme for Balochistan in the scheduled meeting of the ECNEC.Provincial ministers Sardar Aslam Bezinjo, Abdul Rehman Mengal, Mir Hammal Kalmati and Zahoor Buleidai had tabled the joint resolution while the speaker, Aslam Bhootani, chaired the session on Monday.

Tabling the resolution, Minister for Irrigation and Power Sardar Aslam Bizenjo said that no scheme was included in the agenda of the last meeting of CDWP for Balochistan.As a protest, Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani had asked the provincial finance minister and others not to participate in the meeting, he said, adding that there was no representation of Balochistan in the CDWP meeting. Later, in a meeting with the chief minister, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had promised that a CDWP meeting would be convened in Quetta in December to approve important projects for Balochistan, but the meeting has been nowhere in sight, Bizenjo said.Bizenjo asked the provincial government to approach the federal government in this regard so that the meeting should take place in December.Other lawmakers also complained that important projects of the province were not being implemented because they were not taken up in the CDWP meeting. There were general complaints from the MPAs that the CDWP seldom considered development projects for Balochistan. It seemed as if the approved schemes were also shelved or delayed, they charged.

Jaffar Mandokhel of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid said that the federal government was not releasing funds for development projects with a justification that the province had obtained adequate share in the NFC Award. He said at least the federal government should release funds for the ongoing projects.Provincial Minister for Social Welfare Mir Asghar Rind opposed the resolution, asking the chief minister to establish a hunger strike camp outside the Parliament House.He alleged that the federal government was doing mere lip service. Later, he withdrew his objection and supported the resolution on persuasion of his colleagues – Dailytimes