PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mahmood Khan has said that an economic zone will be set up in the newly-merged tribal districts of the province.

Khan added that the government is working on a plan for road communication for linking the tribal areas of the Province with Afghanistan and central Asian countries to make this region the economic hub in the wake of CPEC.

He was presiding over a high-level meeting at the Chief Minister House on Saturday. Advisor to Chief Minister Abdul Karim, Head of Strategic Support Unit, Sahibzada Saeed, Secretary Industries, Commissioner Peshawar, Shahab Ali Shah Attended the meeting.

Chief Minister said that the newly merged districts to the province would get one of the economic zones under the CPEC formula and therefore the public institutions should take all necessary measures to give it a practical shape.

Mahmood Khan ordered the concerned officials to sketch out a plan for the provisions of electricity, produced locally in Malakand Division, for food processing and agro-based industries and tourism-related activities in Malakand Division.

“CPEC has brought along multifaceted challenges and we have the requisite level of commitment to cope with it,” said the Chief Minister. “We would train our youth to cope with the growing challenges by producing skilled manpower.”

The CM said that chief electricity from hydro project station of Mataltan would be provided to the food processing, agro-based, livestock and tourism-related industries on cheaper rates that will help in bringing socio-economic development for the northern districts of the province.

He also directed to identify a village to be developed as a model village of the merged districts

Mahmood Khan said that peace is the basic prerequisite for economic growth. Once peace is returned to the region, the region would have bright prospects for growth. He called upon the participants to prepare for more opportunities in the wake of CPEC. “This region, including the newly-merged districts, would be the end beneficiaries of the boom in trade,” said the Chief Minister.

He also said the government would provide a one window operation and asked the IT and ST Department to prepare an integrated dashboard for the one window operation to facilitate investment, trade and industrialization in the province.

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