Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umnar announced on Thursday that the government will spend Rs 600 billion on development projects of nine districts of southern Balochistan during next three years to improve living standard of the local people. Out of the total, the federal government will provide Rs 540 billion, while the rest would be spent by the Balochistan government. Addressing a press briefing along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Minister for Defense Production Zubaida Jalal and Minister for Communication Murad Saeed, he said the government would also engage the private sector in some development projects in the area. He said this package was prepared under special direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan who had firm belief on raising the weak segment of society. “The country’s historic package has been prepared with an integrated strategy to ensure that people belonging to all segment of society should get benefit from this package,” he added. The minister hoped that after completion of this programme, the most impoverished area of the country would see prosperity and it would become practical example of PM Imran Khan’s vision of Naya Pakistan. In the past, he said the approach of allocating money for development projects was different and that was not integrated, however now “we have embarked upon a new system under which all the sectors and ministries will be engaged collectively.” For instance, he said in southern Balochistan, agriculture was the most important source of income for locals for which, the people need water, for which dams would have to be built. “Once the water is also available and people start producing grains, fruits and other products, but they did not have resources to sell them in big cities. So the government would establish industries in those areas to make them able to preserve and add value to their products,” he said. “At present, only 12 percent people of the area were enjoying facility of government electricity. Under this package we will provide electricity to over 57 percent population of the area and for this off-grid electricity option will also be implemented to provide electricity to the scattered population of the area,” he added. Similarly, the government would build 16 new dams which will irrigate about 150,000 acre of land, he said. “Besides, around 640,000 children would be given distance education and they would be connected to the teachers in big cities. Under Waseela Taleem Programme, as many as 83,000 children would be given free education and the government would also pay stipend of Rs 1,500 to boy and Rs 2,000 to girl’s parents on monthly basis,” he added. Asad Umar maintained that in health sector, 200 health centers would be upgraded. Similarly, he said, 35000 young people of the area would be given training to earn as a freelancer. He said that the area was suitable for olive and date cultivation so the government would establish an olive processing unit and three date processing units to make the local farmers able to add value to their produce. Under Sehat Nashonuma programme, the minister said, the pregnant woemn, and newborn babies would be provided with required food so that the problem of stunting could be prevented. Similarly, under this programme, billions of rupees would also be spent on the road projects to connect the area with rest of the country, he added.