GILGIT: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday announced a five-year mega development package of Rs370 billion for Gilgit-Baltistan during his day-long visit to the region.

Announcing the main features of the development package at a ceremony in Gilgit on Friday, the prime minister said it is the first time that such a huge amount will be used for the development of this picturesque and strategically located region.

The uplift package consisted of hydel projects, new roads and Babusar Tunnel, scholarships and skills training for the youth of the region, upgradation of health and education facilities, water and sanitation schemes, promotion of SMEs and expansion of airports, particularly the Skardu Airport, to cater to international flights.

He said the PTI-led government will also support the development of small and medium enterprises in the area besides focusing on the expansion of its infrastructure. He said efforts will also be made to enable Gilgit Airport to host international flights.

Highlighting the immense and diverse tourism potential of Gilgit-Baltistan, the prime minister said this development package will prepare the region to attract tourists which will benefit not only the locals but the whole country. “By exploiting GB’s tourism potential we will make it self-reliant.”

PM Imran, however, emphasized the need for the promotion of tourism in a planned manner to cultivate its true benefits. “The tourism in the region should not affect the forests and mountains.”


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