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Asad Umar stresses early auction of 3G, 4G licenses in GB - Inside Financial Markets

Asad Umar stresses early auction of 3G, 4G licenses in GB

– Associated Press of Pakistan

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar Monday directed the ministry of Information Technology and and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to finalize the auction of 3G and 4G licenses in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) on priority as for remote areas, the importance of IT is much bigger than large cities of Pakistan.

“Generating economic activities in remote areas will only be possible through strong IT infrastructure in the future,” he said adding one of the underlining principles is to create maximum employment opportunities for the youth and people of GB. He was chairing a progress review meeting on GB development Plan here.

Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Khalid Khurshid, Secretary Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and GB, Secretary Planning, Secretary Water and Power, Chairman NHA, and CEO Public Private Partnership (PPP) Authority attended the meeting.

Additional Chief Secretary GB briefed the Minister on the GB potential projects in the public sector, non-PSDP (Public Sector Development Programme) initiatives, as well as in the Public-Private Partnership mode.

The various priority sectors such as clean energy and hydropower, health, education and skill development, tourism, private sector development, agriculture, women development, social welfare and youth were discussed in the meeting.

The meeting was informed that all the Provincial departments are in contact with relevant Federal Ministries/ Divisions and PC-Is of the shortlisted schemes are being prepared by the respective departments.

GB Government placed special emphasis on clean energy to mitigate severe power crisis in the area, other priority sectors included tourism, gems and minerals, agricultural products, roads and communications and information technology.

Asad Umar stated that GB power sector should have a regional grid of its own as a connection to the grid posed a challenge due to the distance involved.

He said that the aim in GB development package on the energy side is not only to produce energy but also to build the right institutional and regulatory framework and generation transmission distribution capacity as well.

Asad Umar directed PPP Authority to assist GB government in strengthen GB PPP Unit and help in the identification of private sector partners.

He called on the BOI to hold roadshows in two or three different cities in Pakistan where the federal and provincial governments could jointly market available public-private opportunities to potential investors.

Asad Umar directed the Planning ministry to devise a strategy for training and capacity building of GB officers and directed all the ministries and divisions to complete the feasibility and submits the PC-Is to the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) so that activities on ground could start as early as possible.

Syed Zaki Hussain

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