From Malik Najmussaqib
QUETTA: Planning and Development Department Balochistan has demanded that 40-50% of the proposed twenty thousand scholarships proposed under the “Socio-Economic Development” component of CPEC should be reserved for the students of Balochistan along with transferring of management of these scholarships to provincial government.
Abdul Rehman Buzdar, Additional Chief Secretary (Dev), Planning and Development Department, Government of Balochistan has taken up the issue of fixing quota for Balochistan in the twenty thousand scholarships proposed under the “Socio-Economic Development” component of CPEC with Federal Ministry for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Islamabad.
In a letter addressed to Secretary, Federal Ministry for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Islamabad, he wrote, “Balochistan is an important partner and stakeholder in the multi-billion-dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The province is not only home to the most important node city of CPEC i.e., Gwadar but also connects the western part of China with the Gulf region via sea. The Government of Balochistan is committed to take all measures required to fully harness the potential opportunities presented by CPEC. Among the others, the Government of Balochistan is keen to invest in developing the human capital of the province. The true potential of CPEC for the people of Balochistan cannot be realized without developing the province’s human resource base. It was against this background that the Government of Balochistan submitted proposals on higher education scholarships and technical and vocational training in March 2019 for consideration under the “Socio-Economic Development” umbrella of CPEC. Subsequently, in June 2019, the Federal Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives (MPDSI) shared a priority list of twenty seven projects shortlisted by the Chinese side for implementation through the USD 1 Billion grant for socio-economic development. The Government of Balochistan had certain reservations regarding these shortlisted projects and conveyed the same to your office on 29th October, 2019 via letter NO. PandD-CPEC/ 2018/ L-35. Among the others, the Government of Balochistan had expressed concerns regarding the “Overseas Student Scholarship Program” proposed in the 27 priority projects.