ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has formed a steering committee to periodically review initiatives in Gwadar to ensure smooth and timely execution of projects in Gwadar.
The Steering Committee was constituted after the Prime Minister’s visit to Gwadar on June 3, 2022, during which various issues related to infrastructure and the security of Chinese nationals were discussed.
The composition of the Steering Committee is as follows: (i) Prime Minister, President/Counsellor; (ii) Prime Minister, member of Balochistan; (iii) Federal Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives – Member; (iv) Federal Minister of Energy – Member; (v) Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs – Member; (vi) Federal Minister of Communications – Member; (vii) Syed Tariq Fatemi, SAPM – Member; (viii) Secretary, Finance – member; (ix) Secretary, Foreign Affairs – Member; (x) Internal Secretary – Member; (xi) Secretary Power – Member; (xii) Aviation Secretary – Member; (xiii) Communications Secretary – Member; (xiv) Planning Secretary – Member; (xv) IT and Telecommunications Secretary – Member; (xvi) Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) – Member; (xvii) Chief Secretary Balochistan – Member; (xviii) Chairman, Gwadar Port Authority – Member; (xix) Chairman, Gwadar Development Authority – Member; and (xx) Additional Secretary-III Office of the Prime Minister – Member/Secretary.
The Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Steering Committee will be to: (i) review development initiatives for Gwadar and its adjacent areas; (ii) facilitate inter-ministerial coordination and remove bottlenecks for smooth implementation of projects in Gwadar; (iii) review/approve modalities for execution and finalization of projects in Gwadar; (iv) any other related matter(s) requiring consideration by the Steering Committee; (v) The Steering Committee may co-opt any other member(s) as needed; and (vi) The Steering Committee will meet every two weeks. Other necessary measures may be taken accordingly.
During his visit to Gwadar, the Prime Minister directed this planning division to ensure the release of necessary funds to the Government of Balochistan/Gwadar Development Authority.
He also ordered that GDA ensure the completion of Phase III of the Gwadar Water Supply and Distribution System no later than 30 September 2022. A third party inspection mechanism will be introduced to ensure quality Works.
Other decisions taken at a meeting chaired by the Prime Minister are as follows: (i) the Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives will hold a meeting with the Chinese side to finalize the implementation modalities of the desalination project 5 MGD for the city of Gwadar under the G2G arrangement; (ii) the NHA will promptly award the tender for Section M-8 (Awaran-NAL) as required by law; (iii) Pakistan Infrastructure Development Corporation (PIDCL) will be operational within one month; (iv) It was noted that progress on New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) was slow. To complete the work as soon as possible, the Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives will arrange a meeting with the Beijing Urban Construction Group and other relevant organizations (CAA, QESCO, etc.) to develop a plan accelerated project implementation; (v) works at Turbat Airport should be expedited by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and completed within the prescribed time; (vi) The Minister of Planning will hold a meeting with PIA to finalize the tariff pricing model for airports in Baluchistan to increase traffic volumes and improve air connectivity in the province; (vii) in order to improve the commercial viability of Gwadar Port, the Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives will hold a meeting with China Port Holding Company Limited (COPHCL) and GPA and request COPHCL and GPA for a business plan and marketing also covering how to carry out/finance the essential dredging works at Gwadar port; (viii) The Minister of Planning, in consultation with the Chinese side, will develop a business plan for (a) the supply of good quality solar panels as well as after-sales services and/or (b) the supply of electricity to Gwadar and its adjacent towns/villages through Solar Parcs based on an appropriate financial model; (ix) the Minister should also hold a meeting on the issue of Customs Checkpoints – in Balochistan and submit a proposal to address the grievances of the local people; (x) 2000 deserving fishermen will receive fishing boat engines free of charge. The selection of beneficiaries will be done through a transparent voting process based on a well-defined criterion; and (xi) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Balochistan will actively pursue the Iranian side for the execution of the agreement for the supply of 100 MW (additional) of electricity.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022