ISLAMABAD: The Annual Plan Coordination Committee (APCC) on Tuesday approved Rs 750 million for construction of Gwadar International Airport and Rs 1.357 billion for converting 29 troubled districts of Balochistan into peaceful “A” areas.

“The Rs 1.357 billion project aims at converting 29 “B” areas into “A” areas in Balochistan,” Mr Riaz, project director, told reporters here, adding that “B” areas are the districts where law and order situation is not good.

He hoped that the project aimed at restoring law and order in these districts would be completed in next two years.

The APCC also approved agriculture sector development projects worth over Rs 25 billion and allocated initial funds for the fiscal year 2007-08.

After the meeting, Ismail Qureshi, federal secretary Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, said that Rs 18.5 billion project was also approved for introducing drip and sprinkle irrigation technology in the country.

He said that an ongoing project of Rs 66 billion for lining of 89,000 watercourses in the country would continue in the next fiscal year. He said that work on some 45000 watercourses would be completed this year.

Qureshi said that the APCC had approved Rs 3 billion fisheries development project. This project also includes constitution of fisheries development board and establishment of fish farms in the seas and on the land to promote latest techniques for the development of this sector.

He said that Rs.5.5 billion livestock development project, Rs 8 billion productivity enhancement project and Rs 1 billion food quality enhancement project would be launched to enhance productivity.

Syed Asif Shah, commerce secretary, said that the APCC had approved Rs 216 million for the Pakistan Fashion Design School, Rs 30 million for Foreign Trade Institute and Rs.1.3 billion for the Expo Centre Lahore, extension in Expo Center Karachi and establishment of Institute of Textile and Clothing.

The Ministry of Science and Technology will get 40 percent increase in its development budget in next fiscal year with an allocation of Rs 7 billion; and Railway Division Rs.12 billion, the officials said.

Sorce: Daily Times