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Govt to hold Local bodies polls in May this year in AJK: Tariq Farooq

Mirpur: (Parliament Times) Acting Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Chaudhry Tariq Farooq has said government would hold local bodies in Azad Kashmir in May this year. Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, he said local bodies elections in Azad Kashmir are overdue and it is constitutional requirement to hold the elections as early as possible.

Minister for Sports, Youth and Culture and Mangla Dam Affairs, Chaudhry Muhammad Saeed, member Legislative Assembly, Chaudhry Rukhsar Ahmed, Director General Press Information Department, Raja Azhar Iqbal were also present on the occasion.

He said people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir are indebted to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for including AJK into China Pakistan Economic Corridor project and added that a grand industrial zone would be setup in Bhimber, which he said would herald an economic revolution in the area. Under the project not only industries would be setup but new roads would be constructed, infrastructure would be improved and people will get job opportunities.

The acting Prime Minister said PML-N government under the leadership of Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan will be successful to provide good governance to the benefit of the people of Azad Kashmir. He said federal government has significantly increased the development budget of Azad Kashmir from Rs 12 billion to 21 billion while committees are working to settle the issue of Mangla Dam water use charges and share of AJK in the National Finance Commission equal to other provinces of Pakistan.

He said that previous government of PPP left Rs 22 billion budget deficit and present government has considerably decreased the deficit by adopting austerity measures. About the reforms in education sector, acting Prime Minister said under national education policy, educational institutions are being provided qualified staff with all requisite facilities to improve the quality of education.

He said similarly tangible measures are being taken to make the agriculture sector more productive, adding that agricultural land from Khari to Chhamb Iftikharabad is under the sharp focus of the government to improve it for catering food related needs of the entire AJK.

Chaudhry Tariq Farooq said suspended development work on all the projects including Rathowa Hariam Bridge, Mirpur Medical College, PMU, MUST University and others would be restarted soon. He said that present government is determined to bring fair and transparent accountability system and said those who were involved in corruptions and corrupted practices in the past would be held accountable. He said revising system in development projects would be abolished.

He said that inquiries are being conducted against the government employees allegedly involved in irregularities and some of them have already been penalized. He said political interference in educational institutions has been ended for good. Teachers would be inducted through NTS and nobody would be allowed to get job or positing of his choice in future. The acting Prime Minister said National education Policy has been enforced and academic qualification for primary and senior teachers has been decided.



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