Cabinet reviews progress on Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package

cabinet reviews progress on aghaz e haqooq e balochistan packageQUETTA: The Federal Cabinet on Wednesday reviewed progress on Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package and was informed that out of 61 proposed policy actions, 34 are implemented, five are in advance stages and 22 are in various stages of implementation.The Federal Cabinet met here under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and discussed the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan (AHB) package. This was a historic meeting of the Federal Cabinet held ever in Quetta and attended by Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Aslam Raisani and Governor Balochistan Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi.

A brief report on implementation of AHB was presented before the cabinet and it was informed that so far, 15 meetings and sessions of the implementation committee have been held since 2009. According to the package, out of six policy actions on constitution, five have been implemented, and one is in advance stage, while out of five policy actions on political issues, two are implemented and three are in various stages of implementation. On administrative front, out of 16 policy actions, seven are implemented, two are in advance stages and seven are in various stages of implementation, in economic sector, out of 34 policy actions, 20 are implemented, two are in advance stages and 12 are in various stages of implementation. The cabinet was informed that 7th NFC Award enhanced Balochistan share from 5.1% to 9.09% on account of the Divisible Pool and Fund Transferring and concurrent list has been abolished through 18th Constitutional Amendment.

Royalty formula has been revised; Royalty & GDS have been clubbed into one pool and have been distributed on the basis of provinces’ share in the country’s total gas production. For Balochistan, Rs. two billion have been released in 2010-11 as arrears of period 2002 to 2008-09 (1st of 5 installments). Gas producing districts will be given 1% of the revenue received by the province. Federal Government has agreed to pay Rs. 120 billion as Gas Development Surcharge in 12 years. Rs.10 billion have been released to Government of Balochistan in FY 2010-11 for which the distribution mechanism was decided in the latest NFC Award. “A” areas have been reconverted into “B” areas and there is replacement of Army by FC and stopping of cantonments’ construction is implemented.

Constitution of commission for missing persons was formed and missing persons cell has been established at NCMC and people were recovered. Human Rights Cell has been set up at Supreme Court of Pakistan and Special Desk has been set up by Government of Balochistan. Cabinet Division has released Rs. one billion to the Government of Balochistan and Rs. 128 million have been paid to displaced people of Nula Band Area. Gwadar Port Authority will follow the Public Private Partnership approach and now the Chief Minister of Balochistan will be its Ex-Officio Chairman. Gas is being supplied to areas around Gas Fields—Sui, Pirkoh and Loti. Thirteen districts of Balochistan are being supplied gas at the moment.

The Federal Government, from its 50% shares in Saindak Project, will give 30% to the province. On completion, the project will be owned by Balochistan.Financed by Federal Government for four years, 5000 posts (BPS 14 & 16) have been created in Balochistan and persons are appointed on them. Appointments on another 1934 posts are completed while others are in process. 10 check posts of PCG in Balochistan have been deactivated. A commission will be constituted to determine circumstances leading to the death of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. Judicial inquiry into allotment of land of Gwadar has been ordered and Balochistan High Court has nominated a Judge of the High Court for the purpose.

HEC has submitted a PC-1 for 600 scholarships at a cost Rs. 3564.1 million for Balochistan. 750 scholarships have been awarded for programs in 2009-11 and 450 scholarships will be awarded during 2011-12. Three economic zones including Gwadar – Port of Singapore (PSA), Export Processing Zone (EPZ) and Government of Balochistan (GOB) Industrial Zone are being established. Balochistan will be given allocation in all Poverty Alleviation Schemes in proportion to the percentage of people living below the poverty line. Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) extended poverty survey to all 30 districts of Balochistan except districts of Awaran, Khuzdar, Mastung and Panjgur. 439,591 beneficiaries were declared eligible for BISP. Payment of cash grants were made to 140,663 beneficiaries and BISP disbursed Rs.4233 billion.

According to Sui Special Development Package; Govt of Balochistan will purchase 20% shares in PPL and OGDC and there will be special incentives for local tribes of Kohlu to facilitate exploration in the area. The government of Balochistan has proposed a package for development of Kohlu. The government is financing schemes in Balochistan through PSDP at a cost of Rs. 7 billion. Up to June 2011 Rs. 3.1 billion have been spent on the schemes while Rs. 744 million are allocated in 2011-12.

Rs. 4.225 billion have been allocated for new schemes.  Government of Balochistan will prepare PC-1 for the schemes, while the federal government will arrange the finances. Five small dams including Hingol, Naulong, Winder, Pelar and Garuk will be constructed in the province for purposes of irrigation and power generation. Rs. 489.7 million were spent for the construction of these projects during 2010-11 while Rs. 2.75 billion is allocated in 2011-12. Engineering study is underway for Garuk Dam while its PC-11 has been approved by PDWPO.  – APP