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GWADAR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said the concerted efforts and true implementation of the vision of the SIFC would usher in the revolution and guarantee the prosperity of 220 million people of Pakistan.

“The SIFC (Special Investment Facilitation Council) is the biggest motivating engine and vision for Pakistan’s progress and prosperity. Nothing can impede our progress, if we follow this vision. This will bring in revolution,” the prime minister said addressing the inauguration ceremony of multiple development projects here.

The prime minister unveiled the plaques to inaugurate Khuzdar-Panjgur transmission line; construction of a two-lane Khuzdar-Basima Road; water supply and distribution scheme; 1.2MGD RO Desalination Pant; and initiation of Gwadar Port dredging.

Rs200m TSG approved for SIFC secretariat

He broke ground for the rehabilitation and upgradation of Awaran-Naal and Awaran-Jhal Jaho roads; Khuzdar section of M8; Gwadar Safe City project; and the establishment of the University of Gwadar.

He also unveiled the plaque marking the completion of airside infrastructure (runway, taxiway and apron) at New Gwadar International Airport.

Lauding the vision and efforts of Chief of the Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir - also present at the ceremony - for the establishment of SIFC, said a mechanism had been established to attract investment and put the country on the course of progress.

He expressed the hope that the interim government would also carry forward the initiative which was also appreciated by the business community of Karachi during his visit to Sindh on Wednesday. Besides, the Gulf countries are also eyeing to invest in Pakistan following the economic revival plan formulated by the government, in coordination with all stakeholders, he said mentioning an article written by a former Saudi ambassador in Pakistan in an Arab publication.

Referring to his first visit on June 3, 2022 to Balochistan, after assuming office, the prime minister shared his dismay over the condition of Balochistan’s development owing to the negligence on part of the previous government, which he said merely focused on mud-slinging of the opposition leaders.

He said the previous government failed to execute crucial projects like clean drinking water despite the fund’s allocation in 2015 by Nawaz Sharif’s government.

Similarly, the unnecessary delay in the completion of the 26-kilometer power transmission line from Iran forced the people to live without electricity. A project to protect Gwadar Port from flood also met the same fate.

After 2015, no dredging of Gwadar Port was done impacting the movement of big ships, but the incumbent government took up the project and would complete it by March next year.

Likewise, the previous government could only bring 100,000 tons of cargo to Gwadar Port, comparing 600,000 tons by the present government despite the fact that dredging was not yet over.

The prime minister questioned why the previous government could bring in just 100,000 tons of cargo, failed to complete drinking water supply project and power transmission line from Iran which was completed by the incumbent government within 6-8 months like it had done the Panjgur transmission line.

The prime minister thanked China for rolling over a $2.4 billion loan for a two-year period and other friendly countries for supporting Pakistan.

He said the Balochistan province, rich with immense beauty and resources, could have attained its due progress had it been provided sufficient resources and attention. But the “negative and sick mentality” marred the situation, he remarked.

He said it was high time all the institutions and stakeholders joined hands and move forward to make up the deficit of development.

The prime minister told the gathering that the government had started the distribution of cash assistance worth Rs250,000 each among 3,000 fishermen to help them improve their lives as well as their work.

Referring to the attacks on Chinese workers, Prime Minister Shehbaz said that the people of Balochistan must know that the development of their province would suffer if some of the people, at the behest of the foreign handlers, continued to target their benefactors.

He said the promotion of solar energy could guarantee the development of Balochistan’s industry and people as transmission lines across the country’s biggest province would cost billions of rupees.

The prime minister told the newsmen that his government had completed a project of 100 MW power transmission line from Iran to ease the lives of locals. Similarly, a Panjgur-Khuzdar transmission line has also been completed.

He said all of the said projects were conceived during Nawaz Sharif’s tenure and funds were also allocated but “criminal negligence” was shown by the previous government.

Similarly, he said the laptops were distributed among the top-performing students of public universities, which the previous government failed to do so, despite it being a tool for progress in the modern era.

He said the incumbent government allocated billions of rupees for the laptop scheme.

He said instead of a 6% allocated share of the laptop scheme for Balochistan, the federal government gave away the machines with a ratio of 14%, and the quota had further been increased to 18% for fiscal 2023-24.

He said the federal cabinet had green-signalled a 300 MW coal power project for Gwadar and NEPRA had also approved the tariff.

The prime minister thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for a rollover of a $2.4 billion loan for two years by EXIM Bank and overall support in the form of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

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