Insufficient funding stalls development in AJK

KARACHI: Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said lack of funding has reduced speed of development in Azad Jammu Kashmir.

Almost all the sectors, including health, education, infrastructure, tourism and industries continue to struggle which has added to unemployment and other issues, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Talking to Arif Mughal, Advisor on Information to the Prime Minister of AJK, he said that the privilege of getting quality education outside AJK is limited while those from the lower-middle class and poor families have little options.

Mughal said that there is over 8,000MW of hydro potential in AJK which is more than the entire national power deficit.

He asked the authorities to use this clean source of electricity which will save billions of dollars in our staggering oil import bill.

Mughal said that apart from hydropower, sectors like private sector investment, agriculture, and vocational training for youth must be developed.

Promotion of SMEs, youth and women enterprises is also imperative in the valley to explore untapped economic potential, he added.

Mughal said that higher returns and conducive conditions should be ensured for attracting investors in the productive sectors as presently investors are inclined towards real estate sector.

He said that the critical economic situation and poverty are likely to push more people below the poverty line and into growing malnourishment if funding was not enhanced by the Pakistan government.

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