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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Government has approved New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) with over 550 per cent higher cost - Rs 51.298 billion as compared to Rs 7.675 billion approved in 2010.

This decision was taken by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC), which also directed the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA) to develop energy plan for New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) in three months.

Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, briefed the ECNEC that the project was considered by the CDWP in its meeting held on September 20, 2021 and recommended the project to the ECNEC at the total cost of Rs 51.298 billion including Foreign Exchange Component (FEC) of Rs 34.471 billion.

The project was initially approved by the ECNEC on January 21, 2010 at the total cost of Rs 7.675 billion including Omani Grant of US$ 17.50 million. However, the project was reviewed and scope of work substantially enhanced. The CDWP reconsidered the project, modified 2nd revised PC-I at a cost to Rs 51.298 billion.

Gwadar airport likely to become operational by 2023: Chinese CG

The sources maintained that the project will be financed to the tune of Rs16.078 billion from PSDP, Rs 750.00 million from PCAA’s own resources, Rs 643.063 million from Omani Grant (already received and spent) and Rs 33.827 billion (1.520 billion RMB) from Chinese grant. As confirmed by the EAD no more funds are available through Omani grant for the project.

The ECNEC also approved recommendations of the CDWP for compliance which are as follows: (i) for the scope to be financed and executed by the Pakistani side, PCAA will first execute the scope that is essentially required for operations of the airport and the balance scope will be initiated after the above works have been completed ; (ii) keeping into consideration their specific areas of jurisdiction, PCAA and Gwadar Development Authority, Government of Balochistan will ensure that the area around the airport has been secured to conform with the requirements of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and Pakistan National Airfield Clearance Policy (NACP) and ;(iii) PCAA will develop and share an Energy Plan for NGIA in 3 months. Potential for renewable energy generation will also be explored as part of the plan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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