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Gilgit Baltistan development suffers amid delay in transfer of federal funds

Islamabad: According to a recent news report, a simple procedure regarding the transfer of development funds from the Center to Gilgit-Baltistan takes up to 40 days mainly due to unnecessary and lengthy procedures being followed for decades.

The above was addressed at a recent meeting between officials from the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives (PD&SI), the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan (KA&GB), and the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The meeting was convened in response to GB’s proposal to streamline the fund’s transfer process.

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It may be noted that the lengthy process regarding the release of funds is only specific to GB, as all other provinces, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), are being facilitated with fast-track procedures for funds transfer. As per documents available with this scribe, it takes only 10 days to transfer funds to the accounts of AJK from the Center once a release request is made.

While both GB and AJK are under the KA&GB ministry, only GB was subjected to the lengthy protocol. The GB government had demanded that the Center release development funds in compliance with the AJK model, to encourage the GB government to step on with its development portfolio more rapidly.

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At the request of the GB government, the Planning Commission had asked the concerned ministries to consider the request of GB and ensure fast track disbursement of funds of PSDP-funded GB portfolio projects.

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