Skardu: Prime Minister Imran Khan has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to uplift the poor lot and backward areas of the country.
Addressing a public gathering in Skardu today, he said several steps have been taken in order to bring at par areas such as Gilgit Baltistan, tribal districts, South Balochistan, Interior Sindh and those in Punjab at par with the developed ones.
Referring to the inauguration of Skardu International Airport and Jaglot-Skardu road, the Prime Minister expressed the confidence that both international and domestic tourists will pour into this region because of enhanced connectivity. He was confident that overseas Pakistanis will be the first ones to visit the region to spend their summer vacations. He said this will provide livelihood opportunities to the local people of Gilgit Baltistan.
Imran Khan mentioned that tourism can become a big asset for Pakistan. He pointed out that Switzerland. which is half the size of Gilgit Balochistan, is earning seventy billion dollars from tourism. He said given the unparalled beauty of Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan can also earn about thirty to forty billion dollars from tourism in this region. He said there is also great scope of religious tourism in other parts of the country.
Turning to the issue of price hike, the Prime Minister said it is an international phenomenon. He however said the government is starting from today Ehsaas Rashan scheme under which each household earning less than fifty thousand rupees a month will be provided thirty percent subsidy on wheat-flour, ghee and pulses.
He said our health insurance scheme has covered the whole population in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the same is being launched in Punjab from next month. He said the health cards will also be provided to the people of Gilgit Baltistan under which they will be able to avail medical treatment worth one million rupees from the public or private hospitals.
The Prime Minister said we have also launched Kamyab Pakistan initiative to uplift the underprivileged segments of the society. He said this program envisages interest free loans and technical training for one member of every deserving household.
In his remarks, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Khalid Khurshid said it is the first time that the present government has announced a development package for the region, saying this will help address our electricity and connectivity issues