The Senate Standing Committee meeting Monday reviewed the ongoing development projects in Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Senator Sajid Mir chaired the committee meeting in Muzaffarabad attended by Senators Farooq H Naiq, Ms. Falak Naz, Muhammad Qasim and Irfanul Haq Sidiqi. The committee was briefed by Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) development Sajid Mehmood Chohan about the overall development program underway in the region and about the future development projects, while Additional Chief Secretary General Syed Asif Shah briefed the committee on the recent general elections. The committee was told by Sajid Chohan that AJK was making progress in achieving the goals of consistence development whereas road communication was given the emphasis in the annual development program. He said many development schemes such as solid waste management and other schemes were proposed to be implemented in coming future for urban development. Chohan further informed the committee that the government was considering small and big projects under public private partnership to be implemented in the coming years to boost the tourism sector in the region which would create jobs and increase overall economy of the region. While giving the breakup of the annual budget, he informed the committee that Rs28 billion had been allocated for the annual development program and out of Rs142 billion, Rs113 billion were being spent on non-development expenditures of the government whereas around 67 percent of the total development budget was allocated for road infrastructure, 23 percent for social sector while remaining 10 percent was allocated for productive sectors. Chohan also told the committee that the region had a great potential in hydroelectric generation and tourism sector and it had been producing at present 2700 megawatts of electricity through hydroelectric generation projects having the potential of much more compared to this production. To a question about a media project portraying in the development budget, he clarified that digital media project of the public relations department was included to project and highlight the Kashmir issue at international forums as a measure by the government towards liberation movement. To another question, he said to improve communication in the region, 125 kilometers main roads and about more than 2000 kilometers link roads would be constructed in the coming future to boost the tourism sector in the area. Responding many other quarries by the chairman and members of the committee, he said 67 percent area of the region was forest land and the government was working to restore forests under billion tree project by the funding of federal government and measures were also being taken to preserve the rivers under public private partnership to avert climate change and conserve environment. Senator Sajid Mir directed the ACS to send proposals to the committee for solution of the challenges facing the regional government in regard to sustainable development and conservation of environment besides boosting tourism and the committee will forward them to the federal government with its recommendations. Later, ACS (general) Asif Shah while briefing the committee about the affairs of recent general elections in the region said best arrangements had been made for holding free, fair and transparent elections giving the national and international media free excess to cover the polling process and other phases of elections.