President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday called for stepping up work on the building of new dams in the province so as to meet the growing requirements of irrigation and drinking water
According to Spokesman of Presidency, he was talking to Members of the provincial cabinet of Sindh on Monday who called on him in the Chief Minister’s House and briefed the President about various developmental projects undertaken in the province in different areas.
The meeting was attended among others by Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Agha Siraj Khan Durrani, Minister for Local Government Sindh, Mr. Muzzaffar Ali Shujra, Minister for Prisons, Jamil Soomro Advisor Information, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Minister for Irrigation & Power, Pir Mazhr-ul-Haq, Minister for Education and Mr. Mohammad Ayaz Soomro, Law Minister.
Addressing the meeting the President called for stepping up work on the building of new dams in the province so as to meet the growing requirements of irrigation and drinking water on the one hand and to empower the poor women of the areas through free distribution of state lands in the command areas of the new dams among them, on the other.
He asked the cabinet ministers to utilize to the utmost the new economic policy framework of private-public partnership, reliance on trade instead of aid and making workers shareholders in the state run enterprises as catalysts for development.
The President said that the government was also seeking greater access to international markets for Pakistani made products to enhance the country’s trade to boost industrial production and create additional jobs.
He said that the government was vigorously pursuing the concept of Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (RoZs) with the international community and expressed the hope that it will soon be translated into reality and usher into industrial development of the country.
The President said that the government will also distribute free the state owned agricultural land in the command areas of the new dams among the poor women. This he said was in addition to the Benazir Income Support Program and the smart card that had also been designed to empower women and eradicate poverty.
The President also inquired about the progress made in the Benazir Behan Basti program aimed at providing low cost housing units to the poor people in rural areas of the province. President Zardari asked the provincial government to take up on priority basis the provision of housing to the poor and on building the infrastructure of roads and irrigation canals to address the problems of underdevelopment and unemployment.
The President was also briefed about the progress made in the Benazir Income Support Program in the province as well as the Waseela i Haq program under which more than seven hundred families are taken out of the poverty trap every month.
The President said that as a result of the policies the economy had turned around, the Stock exchange had bounced back; investors were showing confidence by investing in infrastructure projects and foreign investors were showing interest in stocks and power sector.
President Asif Ali Zardari also directed that a separate briefing be given on the proposed Zulfikarabad City Project in the Sindh to review the progress made on it thus far. He reiterated that the new city will not be part of Greater Karachi but a separate and distinct modern city which will have all modern facilities.
The President said that the proposed project was necessary because the huge influx of national and international migrants in Karachi and Hyderabad had put tremendous pressure on the existing infrastructure.
The President recalled that last year he had directed the Sindh government to identify a million acres of land near the coast in Thatta district for the development of the new city of ‘Zulfikarabad’ that would be built in the memory of late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
The President said that he visualized the concept of the new city by converting useless state land into a productive asset for the benefit of the local people of interior Sindh.