Tobacco growing districts to get Rs236m uplift fund

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will spend Rs236.5 million tobacco cess proceeds on development projects in seven tobacco growing districts of the province.

The decision to spend the cess funds on improving infrastructure facilities in the tobacco growing districts was made at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, says a handout on Wednesday.

It said that Swabi, Mardan, Charsadda, Buner, Nowshera, Malakand and Mansehra districts would get funds in accordance with a resource distribution formula developed last year.

These districts would get funds in accordance with their share in tobacco yield recorded last year.

The meeting reviewed the use of tobacco cess funds generated last year. According to the handout, the chief minister expressed satisfaction over the results of the last year`s tobacco cess-funded development schemes in the seven districts.

Provincial agriculture minister Arbab Ayub Jan and MPAs, including Pervez Khan, Sikandar Irfan, Ahmad Khan Bahader, Qaiser Wali Khan and Syed Rahim attended the meeting in addition to administrative secretaries of finance, planning and development, local government and excise departments.

The handout claimed that the incumbent provincial government had streamlined the use of tobacco cess on development schemes in the tobacco growing districts. It said that previously the funds used to be spent even in non-tobacco growing districts.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister claimed that the provincial government had ensured the funds use on the welfare and development of areas with tobacco yield.

Meanwhile, Mr Hoti expressed satisfaction over the pace of rehabilitation activities to resettle people affected by the last year`s floods.

He was briefed about the rehabilitation activities, reconstruction of infrastructure, funds availability and problems confronted in implementing the development works in the affected areas. The meeting reviewed details of development projects concerning health, education, communication, irrigation and drinking water.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister appreciated the work done for early rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure in the flood-affected parts of the province.

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