Islamabad, May 22, 2014 (PPI-OT): Ch. Abdul Majid, Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir accompanied by Ch. Latif Akbar, Minister for Finance, AJK met with the Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar at Finance Ministry today. The Finance Minister welcomed the Prime Minister and briefed him on the economic performance of the government.
He said that in the last eleven months, structural reforms were introduced with total commitment and hard work. He said that as a result of these reforms, the government had to take some painful decisions to fix the economy and now the economy is in much better shape. Growth is moving up whereas deficit has been restricted to single digit, he added. He also mentioned about the achievements made in restoring the confidence of the IFIs.
The Prime Minister mentioned about the financial issues which the AJK Government is currently facing. He said that the AJK Government has maintained fiscal discipline to a maximum level. He added that education and health facilities need to be financed after reconstruction of buildings by ERRA.
He said that due to non-availability of funds, health and education staff cannot be appointed to these facilities. He also highlighted meager resources of AJK for allocation to Public Sector Development Projects.
The Finance Minister assured the AJK PM that the Federal Government will assist and help to overcome the financial deficit and a future roadmap will be drawn with the help of the concerned officials of the AJK Government. The Finance Minister directed the Finance Secretary to hold a separate meeting with the Chief Secretary and Finance Secretary AJK to help resolve the budgetary issues.
The Finance Minister also informed the AJK Prime Minister that the Federal Government is pursuing the vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to connect Islamabad to Muzaffarabad through a railway link. He added that the project will cost Rs.60 billion and we have an equal priority and sentiments for development projects of AJK. He concluded that our hearts beat with the people of Kashmir.
Federal Finance Secretary, Dr. Waqar Masood, Chief Secretary AJK, Mr. Khizer Hayat Gondal, Finance Secretary AJK Mr. Yousuf Khan and senior officials of Finance Ministry and AJK Government were also present in the meeting.
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