Friday, January 27, 2023

PM Shehbaz seeks investigation into Gwadar breakwater project’s delays

An investigation has been authorized into what Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif refers to as the “criminal” delay in the Gwadar breakwater project.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan criticized the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Twitter for allegedly disregarding the project despite the availability of grants.  “Every project, from energy to infrastructure, experienced financially crippling delays while PTI was in power,” he added.

In yet another tweet, he emphasized that the time for the presentation was passed and that the moment for action had now arrived. Gwadar, which is a part of CPEC, has importance from a political, economic, and strategic perspective, according to the prime minister. Gwadar is not simply about the development of infrastructure.

In addition, he came to the conclusion that it was both his purpose and their shared responsibility to bring Balochistan out of its state of backwardness and into prosperity.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Shehabz presided over a conference during which several development projects in Balochistan and Gwadar were discussed.

Following the prime minister’s directive, the chairman of the PM’s inspection panel was given one week to compile and submit a detailed report on the criminal negligence that had occurred.

The secretary of the ministry of maritime affairs briefed the prime minister during the meeting, informing the prime minister that a breakwater project at the Gwadar port under concession agreement had to be constructed, for which a $445 million grant and a $484 million loan was provided by the Chinese government; however, the project hit the snags. The prime minister was informed that the Chinese government provided the grant and loan amounts.

According to the Prime Minister, the location of the Gwadar port makes it an important and most suited hub for world trade. They would have to make certain that there was a steady flow of imported commodities coming via this port from the upper and northern regions of the country.

He stated that for this objective, there should be the best and most effective road and railway infrastructures, and he added that by working diligently, they would be able to advance and eliminate all of the deprivation that existed inside the province.

Additionally, the prime minister issued an order mandating the completion of all necessary actions to secure Chinese investment in Gwadar. in order to boost exports and offer employment possibilities to the general public, particularly local residents of the area, this project has been undertaken.

In this regard, the Prime Minister gave instructions to the Chief Secretary of Balochistan and the Secretary of Planning to devise a workable strategy for investment in food, agriculture, and petrochemicals in collaboration with Chinese businesses.

Read Also: Pakistan and Iran promise to boost bilateral trade

In addition, the prime minister gave instructions to the NHA, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MMA), and the Ministry of Planning (Planning Ministry) to submit a joint review report about the provision of trade items following Eid.

The Prime Minister was given an update by the Secretary of Railways on the progress being made on the new railway tracks as well as the connectivity between Gwadar and other towns across the country. The direction given by the prime minister was to make sure that every feasible and useful step was taken in this regard.

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