SKARDU: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday suspended the taxes imposed in Gilgit-Baltistan till the issue is resolved after getting clarifications from stakeholders. Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the Baltistan University, Prime Minister said the GB Council discussed this matter and decided to upend the taxes till the issue is resolved.
Trader associations and all parties core committee had announced complete shutter down and wheel jam strike against the imposition of taxes in GB during PM’s visit. The core committee has now postponed its protest till November 2 in order to allow the government to implement the announcement of PM.
Meanwhile, PM announced an amnesty scheme for the timber sector. He said the PML-N government had increased funds for Gilgit Baltistan and mentioned the projects including Diamer-Bhasha Dam, Skardu road, Skardu and Naltar Hydel Power Projects.
He said the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) will provide employment opportunities to the local people. The prime minister also said that the gas project for Gilgit and Skardu will also be extended to Hunza.
Dr Arshad Ali Executive Director Higher Education Commission (HEC) briefed the Prime Minister about Baltistan University. He said the GB government has donated 1,500 kanal land The university will be established at a cost of Rs 1769.845 million and will cater to needs of around 2,000 students. He said the university will have separate male and female hostels for 200 students each, laboratories and academic blocks.
It is here to mention that the government has converted the Karakorum University campus into Baltistan University.
The Prime Minister earlier attended the budget meeting of the Gilgit Baltistan Council. The Gilgit -Baltistan approved a budget with a total outlay of about Rs 2.4 billion for financial year 2017-18 for Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Chairman of National Highway Authority Shahid Ashraf Tarar also briefed the PM on the ongoing infrastructure projects including Jaglot-Skardu road. He said that 164 kilometers long Jaglot-Skardu road will be constructed at a cost of thirty one billion rupees in three years time.