GILGIT, (APP): Gilgit Baltistan budget for 2015-16
Gilgit-Baltistan Council, in its 9th session chaired by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif here on Thursday, approved the council's annual budget of Rs 831.925 million for the fiscal year 2015-16.
Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Barjees Tahir while initiating proceedings of the session, expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for personally coming to Gilgit Baltistan (GB), for the Session.
Barjees Tahir expressed the hope that Members of the Council would deliberate and make decisions to realize the vision of Prime Minister for the development and prosperity of Gilgit-Baltistan at par with rest of the country.
It was unanimously decided to constitute a committee to come up with proposals and recommendations for tax reforms as well as maximizing revenue collection in GB within one month.
The composition of the committee will be decided by Chief Minister GB, Minister In-Charge and Secretary Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan .
During the Session, the Prime Minister while laying emphasis on community participation, particularly mobilizing the youth, in various development and uplift programmes being undertaken in different parts of Gilgit Baltistan , said that autonomy and community empowerment should be the prime focus of the members during decision making.
The Prime Minister said that public awareness campaigns must be launched about the ongoing and future projects and schemes on priority basis so that the people can incur benefits of the welfare and uplift schemes.
The Prime Minister took keen interest in protection of wildlife and enhancing the forest cover across GB. The Session also approved the Forest Working Plan spreading over a period of 30 years.
Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan apprised the Prime Minister of remarkable increase in number of domestic and foreign tourists in GB during the last couple of years.
Barjees Tahir informed the Session that the Council would soon be legislating on the Tourism Policy, which is being formulated under the framework of Public Private Partnership, for the promotion of tourism in Gilgit Baltistan .
The Council approved in principle the preparation of the proposed Policy. The Council considered the idea of small loans for the youth to investing in the tourism sector.
Minister In-charge informed the Session that Mining Concessional Rules 2015 have been formulated for tapping the immense natural resources in the resource rich Gilgit Baltistan and to promote the gem industry in the region.
This would encourage economic activity in the region and result in reduction of unemployment and poverty, the Minister In-charge said.
The Prime Minister said that the Federal Government is considering the long-standing demand of the residents of Gilgit Baltistan for construction of Gilgit-Skardu road. Allocation for this project will be made in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2016-17, he added.
The Prime Minister appreciated the role of the Gilgit Baltistan Council in the development and prosperity of GB and expressed hope that with the inclusion of new members, the Council would provide more effective input through consultation in the decision making for the progress and uplift of Gilgit Baltistan .