ISLAMABAD : Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday chaired a second meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) and reviewed uplift projects in the Balochistan province. The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, federal ministers including Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Hammad Azhar, Ali Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal and others. The agenda for the national development including road infrastructure, better utilization of water resources, agriculture, energy and establishment of border markets in the Balochistan province came under discussion during the NDC meeting. Projects eyeing better utilization of the Gwadar Port were also mulled over. Speaking during the NDC meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that maintaining law and order situation and ensuring socio-economic progress in the province was among the government’s top priority. “Financial resources were not properly utilized in the province previously, resulting in rising poverty which further caused a sense of deprivation among the masses,” he said. “We completely acknowledge the sense of deprivation among people of the Balochistan province and are taking measures to address it,” he said.Imran Khan said that the Gwadar project was not only a game-changer for Balochistan province but for the entire region. “It is necessary to lay down a proper road network to avail benefits from the Gwadar and CPEC projects,” he said. A committee comprising planning minister, adviser to PM on finance, and chief minister Balochistan was formed to prioritize works after reviewing telecommunication, agriculture, energy and other projects. The committee would finalize the priorities of the projects and convey it to the prime minister for the final nod. The NDC meeting also approved to form a mineral exploration company to improve mining facilities in the province. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPEC) Chairman and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Industries and Production Muhammad Hamad Azhar, Federal Maritime Affairs Minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Advisor for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment of Pakistan Abdul Razak Dawood and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan attended the meeting.
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