PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Revenue Qalandar Khan Lodhi on Wednesday conducted a visit to Bajaur tribal district where he held a consultative meeting with the elders of Nawagai tehsil.

Official sources said the minister discussed at length the development schemes and issues of the area and rest of the province.

Qalandar Khan Lodhi said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is utilising all resources for development of merged tribal districts. He said development projects are being carried out and completed in merged districts on priority basis. He said that merged districts remained deprived of facilities and development in the past, but the present government is giving priority to merged areas.

The minister said development funds are being distributed in all the merged areas without any discrimination. He said efforts are being made to complete all the uplift projects within stipulated time.

Mr Lodhi said the government acknowledges and honours the sacrifices of the people of merged districts for maintaining peace in the region and would address their issues at all costs.

The minister admitted that inflation is a serious issue which needs to be addressed immediately. He said there are various reasons behind inflation, but artificial price-hike through hoarding and black-marketing is also a major reason which will be addressed. He said the government is taking various steps to bring down the prices of food items and for this purpose sasta bazaars are also being established in different cities where food items are available at subsidised rates. He said strict action will be taken against profiteers and hoarders.

The tribal elders apprised the minister about their issues. Mr Lodhi assured that all the genuine problems of the area will be resolved.

On October 23, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan visited Bajaur and inaugurated newly established 132-KV Khar Grid Station and performed ground-breaking of Sub Jail Khar.

The chief minister said while addressing a public gathering in Khar that educational institutions of merged tribal districts were being upgraded, whereas second shift in schools on need basis would be started to promote education. He said a meeting on regularisation of contractual employees in projects in merged districts will be held soon and a positive outcome is expected.

Mahmood Khan said work on feasibility study of Barang tunnel was in progress to provide easy access to Swat Motorway, whereas the notification regarding upgradation of Bajaur District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) to Category-A hospital would be issued soon. The chief minister also directed the Board of Revenue to submit proposals for establishment of another sub-division in Bajaur.

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