Saturday, August 13, 2022

PM Shehbaz orders inquiry into delay over Gwadar breakwater project

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered an inquiry into the ‘criminal’ delay in Gwadar breakwater project, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

Taking to Twitter, the premier criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for allegedly ignoring the project despite the availability of grants. “From energy to infrastructure, every project suffered costly delays under PTI”, he added.

In another tweet, he stressed that the time for presentation was over as it was time for action. The prime minister said Gwadar was not just about infrastructure development, being part of CPEC, it had political, economic and strategic value.

He further resolved that turning Balochistan’s backwardness into prosperity was his mission and their collective responsibility.

Meanwhile, PM Shehabz also chaired a meeting to review different development projects in Balochistan and Gwadar.

The prime minister directed the chairman PM’s inspection commission to submit a comprehensive report over such criminal negligence within one week.

Briefing the prime minister in the meeting, the secretary ministry of maritime affairs apprised the prime minister that a breakwater project at the Gwadar port under concession agreement had to be constructed for which $445 million grant and $484 million loan was provided by the Chinese government but the project hit the snags.

The prime minister said that due to its location, the Gwadar port was an important and most suitable hub for the global trade. Through this port, they would have to ensure supply of imported goods from the upper and northern areas of the country.

He said for this purpose, there should be best and efficient road and railway infrastructures, adding that through hard work, they would have to move ahead and remove all the deprivation of the province.

The prime minister also directed for taking of all the steps to ensure Chinese investment in Gwadar. so as to promote exports and provide employment opportunities to the people especially to the residents of the area.

In this regard, the prime minister directed the chief secretary Balochistan and secretary planning to formulate a feasible plan for investment in food, agriculture and petrochemicals in consultation with the Chinese companies.

The prime minister also directed the NHA, ministry of maritime affairs and ministry of planning to submit after Eid, a joint review report, regarding ensuring supply of trade goods.

The secretary railway briefed the prime minister over the linkages between Gwadar and other cities of the country and the progress on the new railway tracks. The prime minister directed to ensure all the possible and effective steps in this regard.

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