Senate body recommends master plan for erstwhile FATA

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development recommended on Thursday to evaluate a master plan for erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to ensure speedy and complete rehabilitation of the area.

Chairing the meeting, Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani also recommended the authorities concerned to complete process for merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as early as possible.

Briefing the committee regarding agenda of working and performance of FATA secretariat for last 10 years, Secretary Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) secretariat informed the committee that delay in completion of process was not on part of FATA secretariat but it was responsibility of the federal government to expedite the process.

Senator Usman Kakar said the roads network in the area was not up to the mark and the government should enhance the road network to boost tourism in the area.

The FATA secretariat secretary said a project of 800 kilometer expressway from Zhob to Bajuar was at feasibility stage and it was hoped that by June this year, the feasibility report would be finalized.

The committee directed the ministry of planning to include this project in its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20.

The meeting was informed that a motorway project from Peshawar to Torkhum was also in the pipeline which after completion would help promoting tourism in the area.

The meeting was further said that in order to boost tourism sector, as many as 8 state of the art rest house were also under construction and would be completed within a year.

Senator Muhammad Afridi said a number of investors were keen to establish new industries in Bara however the FATA secretariat was not cooperating them in this regard.

The secretary informed that main issue of the area was non availability of electricity in the area and up-gradation of existing grid station in the area had been approved.

Secretary Planning Zafar Hassan informed the committee that Mohmand Marble City located in earstwhile FATA had been made part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which would enjoy all perks and privileges allocated for other Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in rest of the country.

He said the government would allow five years income tax exemptions and zero duty on import of machinery to all investors besides allowing 100 percent repatriation of profit for foreign investors.

The meeting was informed that at present there were 5942 education institutions in the area in which around 35,000 people were employed.