ISLAMABAD (Dawn): Giving a new orientation to the economic policy of the country, the National Economic Council (NEC) approved on Thursday a Rs.36 bn initiative for strengthening national unity and the federation by removing disparities in development between the developed and under-developed parts of the country.
Under the initiative, Rs.15 billion will be invested in Balochistan, Rs.8bn in Sindh, Rs4bn each in KP and Fata, Rs.3bn in Azad Kashmir and Rs.2bn in Gilgit-Baltistan.
A meeting of the council, presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and attended by all chief ministers, the prime minister of Azad Kashmir, the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and ministers for finance and development from federal and provincial governments, also approved federal and provincial development plans of Rs1.175 trillion, a marginal increase of 1.7 per cent over Rs1.155trn for the outgoing year.
The NEC approved five cancer hospitals – four to be set up in the provincial capitals and one in Islamabad. Mr Sharif said a plan should be prepared for one cancer hospital each in Gilgit-Baltistan, AJK and Fata. Senior Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Sirajul Haq raised the issue of delay in completion of Lowari Tunnel project due to paucity of funds. The prime minister said he would look into the matter and would visit the project area along with the chief minister and the governor of KP to see the situation on ground.