August 25, 2019 at 5:26 pm
CHITRAL: In the national conference on “Economic Development in Chitral” held here on Sunday, a great stress was laid on the exploitation of the fabulous potentials of tourism and value addition of the local raw materials in the fields of agriculture, mines and minerals, cottage industry for better earnings and expansion local market thereby speeding up the economic progress.
Held by Chitral Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) with the financial assistance of World Bank, the conference was attended by the delegates of different chambers of commerce, trade union leaders, academia, economists and activists of development sectors in which papers were read out on the potentials of tourism, agriculture and minerals in Chitral while ‘development prospective of Chitral’ was yet another theme.
The founding president of CCCI, Sartaj Ahmed Khan said that the scenario is changing fast in Chitral in the field of economic activities due to its exposure to the outer world in the wake of the completion of Lowari tunnel which brings both opportunities and challenges for the locals and it was the high time that the map of economic activities should be shaped.
He said that the manpower was the largest and most precious asset of Chitral whose potentials should be utilize to its full so that they come forward and grasp the natural resources bestowed upon Chitral in the form of its unique topography, rich and diverse culture including that of primitive Kalash people, mines and minerals, agriculture and hydro-power generation.
The project director of University of Chitral Professor Dr. Badshah Munir Bukhari said that the conference will help develop a clear vision about economic development of Chitral in which development of private sector has a great need to end the dependency on the government for creating jobs.
The sector papers presented on the ‘tourism’ by Nizam Ali and Shahzada Maqsoodul Mulk suggested that the dilapidated road infrastructures should be improved, development of tourist resorts, showcasing the diverse culture, Kalash people and scenic beauty of Chitral.
In the sector of agriculture, radical measures were recommended to be taken by replacing the obsolete ways which were still in vogue, bring the thousands of acres of barren land under cultivation, mechanization of farming, development of fruits and vegetables and put a strong system of value addition of agro-products.
Israr Saboor and Dr. Bilqees said that Chitral valley was more than 400 kilometers long with a large gap of altitude thereby providing it with a variety of climatic conditions, the alpine and sub-alpine zones had large variety of herbs and non-timber products.
The speakers on ‘mineral potentials in Chitral’ proved how Chitral was a ‘repository of mines and minerals ranging from purest form of iron ore to gold, gems, precious stones and marble but they explained the grim picture of how the flawed and defective policy and approach of the governments including the present one spoiled deprived the local people of the benefits.
Haji Ghulam Ali, the former president of Federation of the chambers of commerce and industries stressed on the need of making the local youth entrepreneurial in mind and soul which was presently at its lowest ebb and reiterated on value-addition of local products which were currently being sold at throw away prices.
Dr. Yasir Arafat presented the development prospective of Chitral and juxtaposing the strength and weaknesses for development of economy, said that many indicators of the local economy were showing upward trends thereby promising a uniform and steep progress in near future if given proper output.
The conference was addressed by commandant of Chitral Task Force, Colonel Moeenuddin, District nazim Maghfirat Shah, MNA Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, minority MPA Wazir Zada, DC Lower Chitral Naveed Ahmed, DPO Chitral Waseem Riaz and others.