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SUKKUR: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday unveiled a historic development package worth Rs 446 billion to uplift backward areas of opposition-led Sindh province through power supply, irrigation, sports and communication projects.

The prime minister, while addressing a ceremony to hand over business loan cheques among the entitled youths here, said the proposed projects would start getting shape within a month as feasibility studies had already been completed.

Federal ministers Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Dr Fehmida Mirza, Ali Haider Zaidi, Asad Umar, Mohammad Mian Soomro, Special Assistant Dr Sania Nishtar, Sindh Governor Imran Islamil and Usman Dar accompanied the prime minister.

The premier said that he didn’t get chance to visit interior since he took oath as the PM. "Today, I am happy that I am here to hear the problems of the Sindh people," he added.

The PM said that he has seen suffering of interior Sindh people.

The prime minister said he was pleased to visit the interior Sindh with a good news of development package, which otherwise was the responsibility of the provincial government under 18th amendment.

He said Interior Sindh was the poorest area of the country, besides Southern Balochistan and now merged tribal districts. He also likened the development outlook of the interior Sindh with Mohenjo-Daro and said instead of any advancement of the people were moving backward.

He said the people of interior Sindh were living in difficult circumstances without basic facilities and rights besides facing victimization through police.

Commenting on issues of Bundal Island, PM Imran Khan said he is unable to understand why the Sindh government backed off from the development of Bundal Island despite issuing NOC.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Kamyab Jawan Programme in Sukkur, Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Asad Umar said a development package worth Rs446 billion has been finalized on the directions of PM Imran Khan.

He said Sindh is blessed with everything and added that it is the country’s largest gas-producing province. “Even today, many areas of Sindh are deprived of gas.” The minister said despite all of the resources, the province has not been developed as it should be.

Umar accused Pakistan People’s Party’s Sindh government of creating obstacles whenever the federal government tries to uplift the province.

The Sindh government is not willing to invest more money in Nai Gajj Dam, the minister said and added PM Khan has decided to complete the project from the resources of the federal government. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision is to uplift the living standards of the people of the country especially of Sindh.

Investors were ready to invest around Rs40bn for the development of the island, but the Sindh government cancelled the project.

The development package envisages construction of Nai Gaj dam which will help irrigate 28800 acres of land; and 306 kilometer long Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway.

Two hundred thousand acres of land will also be rehabilitated which will create livelihood opportunities for the people.

Under the package, gas supply will be ensured to 160 villages in the deprived districts of province whilst provision of thirty thousand annual electricity connections is also part of it.

Education reforms are also part of Sindh package under which ratio of higher education will be brought to fifty two percent whilst for quality education teacher-student ratio will be brought at 1:20. Fourteen passport offices will also be upgraded. NNI