An important meeting convened to assess the progress of foreign-funded development projects in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), which includes the newly merged tribal districts, was held on Tuesday, chaired by the caretaker Chief Minister, Muhammad Azam Khan.
During this meeting, participants received a comprehensive briefing on the current status of foreign-funded development projects and related matters. The gathering revealed that the Annual Development Program (ADP) for the current fiscal year showcased a total of 66 projects with a cumulative value of Rs849 billion. Of this sum, approximately Rs114 billion was allocated for these projects in the present fiscal year, with Rs10.9 billion having been disbursed so far.
In terms of project distribution across various sectors, the agriculture sector saw five projects, public health engineering had three, elementary & secondary education featured four, while power and energy boasted seven.
Additionally, health had four projects, local government had three, road communication had five, tourism had two, irrigation featured three, and there was one project each in forests, home, industries, and labor. Furthermore, a significant number of 19 projects were categorized under the multi-sectoral development sector.
Remarkably, the progress made on development projects in K-P was reported to outpace that of other provinces.
The chief minister expressed his contentment with the overall project advancement but urged the relevant authorities to take necessary actions to expedite the work further and ensure timely completion.
He directed administrative secretaries of respective departments to diligently monitor progress, identifying and eliminating any obstacles that might impede project implementation.
He emphasized that any unnecessary delays would not be tolerated in the completion of these crucial public welfare projects.
The chief minister particularly highlighted the Kurram Tangi Water Resource Development Project’s significance and urged officials to convene a special meeting with relevant authorities to hasten its progress.
He also stressed the importance of prioritizing infrastructure development projects in the merged areas, as their timely completion would facilitate these districts’ residents and catalyze their development.
In attendance at this pivotal meeting were Chief Secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhary, Additional Chief Secretary Zubair Asghar Quraishi, administrative secretaries from concerned departments, and other high-ranking officials.
On September 5, Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan emphasized the urgent need for increased cooperation from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and other partner organizations in the Newly Merged Districts (NMDs). He pointed out that the people of the NMDs had endured years of hardship due to prolonged militancy, resulting in these regions significantly lagging behind other parts of the country in terms of development.
The chief minister stressed the importance of both the government and donor agencies directing their efforts, particularly towards basic infrastructure development, to bring the NMDs on par with the rest of the province.
In a meeting with a delegation from UNDP, led by its Resident Representative, Samuel Rizk, Chief Minister Khan engaged in an in-depth discussion about various public welfare programs under the UNDP portfolio.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th2023.