PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has asked the federal government to include the Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) project in the next federal Public Sector Development Programme saying the project will help the province become self-sufficient in agricultural products.

The chief minister made the demand during a meeting with federal minister for planning and special initiatives Asad Umar in Islamabad.

The two discussed mega development schemes to be funded by the PSDP in the province, said an official statement issued here on Thursday.

The chief minister also discussed uninterrupted provision of funds to the provincial government for the speedy development of the newly-merged tribal districts, payment of net hydel power arrears to the province, and other matters of mutual interest.

Mr Mahmood said under the prevailing coronavirus-induced situation, food security was the top priority of both federal and provincial governments.

He said the CRBC project would help increase agricultural production.

Minister Asad Umar said keeping in view the importance of the project, its feasibility would be included in the federal PSDP of the upcoming financial year.

The chief minister demanded that the payment of net hydel profit arrears to the provincial government should be ensured in line with the memorandum of understanding signed between the provincial government and Water Resource Division.Discussing the issue of funds for speedy development of tribal districts, he said all federating units should fulfil their promises to provide three per cent of their shares in the National Finance Commission Award for the development of the erstwhile Fata.

“The accelerated development of tribal districts is the issue of not only Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the entire country as well,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2020