AJK to get due share in CPEC: Chief Secretary


Muzaffarabad: (Parliament Times)  The Chief Secretary of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sikander Sultan Raja has said AJK government is in contact with the Federal Government to get reasonable share from China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project (CPEC).

Commenting on a news item published in a section of press about the Kohalla Hydropower Project, he said that 1124MW project is part of CPEC, which is highly important for AJK.

The project, he said is one of the biggest investments in private sector that will not only increase the state’s income but will also provide job opportunities to the people of Azad Kashmir. The Chief Secretary said the Kohalla Hydropower Project to be started with the estimated cost of $2.4 million will be handed over to Azad Kashmir government after 30 years. The AJK government will get 2.188 million rupees as Water Use Charges from the project. The AJK government, he added will also collect 14 billion in taxes from the hydropower project. The Chief Secretary said that Kohalla Hydropower Project is also a great job opportunity for the skilled and educated youths of Azad Kashmir. He further said AJK is in contact with Federal Government to set up Industrial Zones in Muzaffarabad and Mirpur under the CPEC. He added that a highway connecting Muzaffarabad with the Neelam valley is also part of the CPEC. The CPEC, he added will significantly reduce the dependency of AJK on Federal Government for budgetary requirements as AJK will have surplus budget after the completion of these projects. He urged the people of Azad Kashmir to extend full cooperation with the AJK and federal government for the early completion of these nationally important projects.

Meanwhile a spokesperson Chief Secretary Azad Kashmir Office in a statement brushed aside the impression that there is any tug of war between Lent Officers from Pakistan and the AJK government. He said all the Lent Officers are performing their responsibilities for the betterment of common people and respect Prime Minister and the entire state cabinet. He claimed that there is exemplary working relationship between state government and all the state officers including the lent officers striving hard to implement the measures being taken by the Prime Minister for good governance in AJK.

Contrary to the media reports, the spokesman also dispelled the impression that Chief Secretary returns the files approved by Prime Minister adding that Chief Secretary and the entire bureaucracy is on the back of Prime Minister, Raja Farooq Haider Khan for promoting the culture of good governance. The spokesman further said that all the files or orders routed to Chief Secretary office from PM are fully complied.

Meanwhile a high level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary to review the status of inquiries against the corruption and irregularities was held here on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Services Liaquat Hussain Chaudhry, Secretary Law Idris Tabassum, Secretary Electricity Fayyaz Ali Abbasi, Secretary PPH Malik Israr, Secretary ERRA Sardar Zafar Khan, Secretary Planning and Development Mansoor Qadir Dar, other concerned officers and inquiry officers.

It was learnt that Chief Secretary directed the officials concerned to ensure that all the ongoing inquiries about corruption cases are completed at the earliest so that appropriate action could be taken against the responsible under the law. The CS was told that 24 inquiries of different cases had been completed while 44 inquiries were under process and 8 cases are in the courts.

The Chief Secretary directed the inquiry officers to complete the ongoing inquiries at the earliest. He also directed all the officials to discharge their official responsibilities under the rules and law.

Another meeting presided by the Chief Secretary was held regarding pending of construction of Kashmir Center at Lahore and mismanagement occurred in it. It was attended by Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Asif Hussain Shah, Secretary Liberation Cell Idris Abbasi, Secretary PPH Malik Israr, and Chairman Accountability Bureau Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan. The CS expressed displeasure over keeping pending for long of this project of national importance and directed the concerned to chalk out a comprehensive plan in the light of all previous inquiries regarding construction of Kashmir Center Lahore to be sent to the government for approval so that the center is constructed at the earliest.