QUETTA: Work on construction of a 10-square kilometre industrial free zone in Gwadar is underway.
It is expected that the port city will be able to create about 40,000 jobs. Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), Chairman Dostain Khan Jamaldini said that the construction of Gwadar Free Zone is underway at a cost of US $2 billion.
He said that Chinese, Middle East, European and Pakistani investors have planned to establish 300 factories to manufacture different products in Gwadar.
Jamladini said, “Chinese firm is spending US $2 billion for construction of roads, provision of electricity, gas and water in Gwadar Free Zone, spread over 10 square kilometre of land and work will be completed within the stipulated time.”
Last week, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal, rebutting the notion that the government has neglected the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has assured the upper houser of parliament that the government was committed to completing the western route by 2018.
Speaking in the Senate, he said the second interim report of the Senate Special Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was devoid of facts, so were the statements about the government failing to live up to its commitment with regard to the western route.
The special committee report, presented before the Senate on Monday by Senator Taj Haider, points out that the CPEC’s western route has not been accorded the priority that PM Nawaz had promised in his public announcement on January 15.
“While work on the eastern route and the Peshawar to Karachi Main Line 1 of the railways is progressing on a fast pace and construction of a six-lane motorway on the eastern route is expected to be completed [on time], work on the agreed route from D I Khan to Gwadar and construction of deep sea berths at the Gwadar Port remain mere eyewash,” the report said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2016.