Govt releases Rs3.96bln for Finance Division projects in which an amount of Rs700m has been fixed for Gwadar Development Authority
ISLAMABAD: China has agreed to provide more than Rs35 billion for construction of the Gwadar International Airport, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sawar Khan informed the Senate on Friday.
Speaking in the Senate during a question hour, the minister said the Gwadar airport will be a modern airport with night navigation. He said construction work on the airport is expected to begin by June this year and will be completed within a span of three years.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, responding to a question regarding Pak-Afghan trade relations, said Pakistan has always taken steps to create a peaceful environment so that trade between the two countries flourish. He said Pakistan has recently gifted Muhammad Ali Jinnah hospital worth of $24 million to Afghanistan as a good-will gesture.
He told the house that export to Afghanistan in the year 2016-17 was 1299 million dollars, which has increased to 1301 million dollars in the year 2018-19. Opposition senators Sherry Rehman, Javed Abbasi, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Raza Rabbani criticised the government’s policies saying these have contributed to price hike in the country. Responding to a point raised by Raza Rabbani, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati said Pakistan steel Mills is not being privatized, adding improvements will be brought in the national entity under Public Private Partnership. The session was adjourned till Monday.
Meanwhile, The government has so far released Rs3960.826 million for various projects of the Finance Division under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP 2018-19) against the total allocation of Rs12,346.359 million. An amount of Rs 700 million has been released for Gwadar Development Authority against its allocations of Rs1,000 million, according to the latest data of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.
The government also released an amount of Rs 700 million has been released for necessary facilities of fresh water treatment, water supply and distribution in Gawadar under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for which an amount of Rs1,200 million has been earmarked in the current federal PSDP. An amount of Rs 344.8 million has been released for Greater Karachi Sewerage Plant (S-III Karachi), which is being executed on 50:50 cost sharing basis between federal and provincial governments. In total Rs 862 million has been allocated for the project under the PSDP 2018-19.
The federal government also released Rs 500 million for Khyber Institute of Child Health and Children Hospital (District Peshawar) out of total allocation of Rs 500 million in the PSDP 2018-19. An amount of Rs185.01 million has been released for the construction of a fish landing jetty and allied harbour facilities at Surbandar in Gwadar against allocation of Rs 264.302 million.
The government released Rs120 million for widening and carpeting of Booni-Buzand Torkhow Road Chitral against allocation of Rs 300 and 210 million for 300-bed Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Mother and Child Healthcare Centre Nawabshah City against allocation of Rs 300 million. The federal government released Rs 112.410 million for Cadet College Kharan against the allocation of Rs 562.057 million and Rs 53.897 million for energization and construction/ extension of Audit House Islamabad out allocationed amount of Rs179.656 million. Similarly, Rs250 million has been provided for the construction and upgradation of Dirgi Shabozai (N-70) to Taunsa (N-55) Road, Balochistan.
The federal government had earmarked Rs 250 million for the project, which is being executed on 60:40 sharing basis between the federal government and the provincial government. The government also released Rs 90 million for sea water desalination plant at Gwadar under CPEC for which Rs150 million has been earmarked in the current budget. It is pertinent to mention here that, in total the federal government has released Rs 564.2 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2018-19 as against the total allocation of Rs 675 billion. Under its development program, the government has released an amount of Rs 22.66 billion for federal ministries, whereas Rs 22.9 billion for corporations and Rs 38.1 billion for special areas, according to a latest data released by Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.
The Planning Commission of Pakistan follows the specific mechanism for release of funds. During first quarter (July-September) it releases 20 percent of development funds, in second quarter (October-December) 20 percent, third quarter (January-March) 30 per cent and fourth quarter (April-June) 30 percent. Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood has said under the recently signed Free Trade Agreement with China, the local exporters now have a big opportunity to capture the Chinese market.
Talking to newsman at Ministry of Commerce in Islamabad said the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement would turn around Pakistan’s economy, particularly export-based industry. He said under the agreement Pakistan will get 6.5 billion dollars annual share of total Chinese imports of 64 billion dollars.\ Abdul Razak Dawood said the government is taking steps to make the Pakistani products competitive in the international market.— News Desk