PM announces incentives in whirlwind Gwadar tour

Shehbaz says water pipeline will be replaced; govt to provide 2,000 marine engine to fishermen

Syed Ali Shah June 25, 2022


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday the government was taking necessary measures to mitigate the difficulties faced by the people of Gwadar pertaining to the supply of drinking water and electricity as well as the problems of the local fishing community.

The prime minister arrived in Gwadar on his second visit to the coastal town of Balochistan in a month. He also received a briefing from the provincial officials about the on the ongoing projects in Gwadar and elsewhere in the province.

“The government is committed to bring Balochistan at par with other parts of the country,” Shehbaz said. “The federal government will extend all possible support to the provincial government in addressing public issues,” he added.

Regarding the Gwadar's water scarcity issue, Shehbaz stated that all the old water pipes would be replaced in the town. “Efforts will be made to address the water scarcity issue on war-footing,” he said.

The prime minister announced that the government would provide 2,000 engines to the fishermen of Gwadar. “Within the next three months, the fishermen of Gwadar will be provided 2,000 free boat engines. We want to support and encourage fishermen”, he said.

Shehbaz also said the Chinese government had provided 3,700 solar panels for the people of Gwadar to address the power supply issue. However, he added, efforts were afoot for the provision of electricity to Mekran division from Iran.

“Power supply issue of Gwadar and Mekran will be redressed, once and for all,” the prime minister said. “In difficult times, China has always stood by Pakistan”, he said. “China has always supported Pakistan at diplomatic and economic levels.”

READ PM Shehbaz announces Rs100b development package for Balochistan

He dismissed the impression that the Chinese development projects in Pakistan were like the “East India Company”, a reference to British colonial rule. He urged the people of Balochistan to value foreign investment, which was important for the development of the country.

Later, in an interaction with local fishermen at the Gwadar Business Centre, Shehbaz directed for merit-based distribution of marine engines among the fishermen. He asked the planning ministry to define a criterion with a set of parameters at the earliest.

Regarding electricity, the prime minister said, 29-kilometre-long transmission lines for supply of 100 megawatts from Iran was delayed by the previous government, whereas the Iranian side had completed the project at its end.

The prime minister announced the provision of 200 acres of land for the establishment of a residential colony for the fishermen of Gwadar. He mentioned that the federal government allocated a massive development budget of Rs 100 billion for Balochistan.

Earlier, the Premier witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Indus Hospital, Karachi, and the Gwadar Development Authority (GDA). Under the MoU, the Indus Hospital would take control of the GDA's 150-bed hospital in Gwadar.

Unpon arrival in Gwadar, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Quddus Bizenjo and Chief Secretary Abdul Aziz Uqaili received the prime minister at Gwadar International Airport. The prime minister was accompanied by Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal and other officials.

Chief Minister Bizenjo also called on Prime Minister Shehbaz for discussion on the administrative matters as well as the political situation of the province. He welcomed the government's decision of providing targeted subsidy on five essential food items.



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