Gilgit-Baltistan: Fisheries Department of GB a White Elephant

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ISLAMABAD (Dawn): The Fisheries Department of Gilgit-Baltistan has turned into a white elephant with its expenditures of Rs160-170 million and surprisingly meagre revenues of only Rs60,000 a year.

This was disclosed during a high-level meeting on Gilgit-Baltistan held here on Thursday with Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Chaudhry Barjees Tahir in the chair. “When this is the level of performance, how can we continue with this,” the minister remarked and observed that when the officers were given full authority they should have delivered accordingly. He directed that public money be spent on beneficial projects only and warned against the money going down the drain. He also directed that no new scheme should be launched before completion of the ongoing projects.

Mr Tahir expressed his concern over the unchecked, illegal exploration of minerals going on in Northern Areas. He said that precious minerals were taken out illegally with no action from the relevant quarters. He said that blasting to dig minerals was having negative impact on the environment and steps must be taken to bring the practice to an end.

About flour mills established in the GB, the minister asked about the authority granting the licences and under what policy. He said that there was no rationale for setting up flour mills in an area where flour was not produced. He was told that only the mills having complete structures would be granted no objection certificates.

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