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Today's Paper | October 20, 2021

Updated 10 Mar, 2021 09:45am

Rs68 billion strategy developed to create jobs in tribal districts

PESHAWAR: The planning and development department has developed an ambitious over Rs68 billion strategy to create employment opportunities in the merged tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Economic Development Plan (EDP) will focus on strengthening businesses, and mines and minerals, small and medium enterprise, skills development, tourism, agri-business and green economics sectors to create jobs in tribal districts.

According to the official documents available with Dawn, a comprehensive action plan will also be developed for tribal districts with a diversified range of interventions for all potential economic sectors by bridging capacity and resource gap.

It will have short-term, medium-term and long-term projects with short-to-medium-term ones spanning over a period of one to three years and medium-to-long-term ones for three years and more.

Documents show Rs28 billion meant for skill development, Rs14bn for agriculture sector

An apex committee headed by the additional chief secretary will be formed to monitor progress on the initiative. Besides administrative secretaries, the director-general of the P&D department’s sustainable development unit and representatives of donor agencies will also be its members.

The sectoral committees tasked with ensuring progress in their respective fields will be headed by the respective administrative secretaries and will work under the apex committee.

The relevant government departments will be responsible for designing and implementing the projects, while the UN and other donor agencies will provide technical assistance in designing and implementation of the plan. The directorate of monitoring and evaluation at the P&D department will be engaged to monitor the field level progress on the need basis.

The EDP will include 84 long-term and short-term projects, wherein 21 of agri-business sector, 28 of agriculture, 10 of skill development, seven each of mines and small and medium enterprise, and four of tourism sector.

Under the plan, Rs28 billion will be allocated for the development of skills of the residents of tribal districts. Of the funds, Rs18 billion will be spent on short-term projects and Rs10 billion on long-term ones.

Over Rs14 billion will be for agriculture sector, including over Rs1 billion for short-term projects and Rs12 billion for long-term ones. A total of Rs8 billion will be spent on long-term tourism projects, Rs7 billion on SME sector’s, Rs4 billion on mineral sector’s, Rs4 billion on agri-business’s and Rs1 billion on forestry’s.

The geographic distribution of resource allocations shows that Rs11 billion will be utilised in Khyber tribal district on both short-term and long-term projects, Rs10 billion each in South Waziristan and Mohmand tribal districts, Rs9 billion each in Kurram and North Waziristan tribal districts, Rs8 billion in Bajaur tribal district, Rs6 billion in Orakzai tribal district and over Rs2 billion in former Frontier Regions.

In the skill development sector, around 75,000 market-linked individuals will undergo training. Besides, provision of 50,000 scholarships to the residents and equipping 30,000 semi- skilled workers with employable skills has also been planned.

New tourist destinations will be developed in Khyber, Kurram, South and North Waziristan tribal districts creating thousands of employment opportunities.

In the agribusiness sector, over 120 fruit and vegetable processing units, 21 controlled environment poultry sheds will be established with 6.3 million bird rearing capacity per cycle and off-season vegetable value chain development.

In the green economic sectors, soil and water conservation has been planned across tribal districts over an area of 12,000 acres besides conversion of wasteland into productive agricultural land and establishment of over 400 fish farms across tribal districts.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2021

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