ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday while calling the strategically located Gwadar Port the guarantor of Pakistan’s future prosperity, directed the authorities concerned to ensure early completion of all its allied projects.
Chairing a meeting to discuss the matters pertaining to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, the prime minister lauded the ministry’s performance and emphasized the inter-ministerial coordination for timely execution of the ongoing and future projects.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, Communications Minister Murad Saeed, Industries Minister Hammad Azhar, Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi, advisors Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Abdul Razzak Dawood, special assistants Lt Gen (Retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa and Shahbaz Gill, Board of Investment Chairman Atif Bukhari and senior officers attended the meeting.
The prime minister said besides setting their priorities, the timeline of the development projects must also be defined.
He said being rich with immense investment and development opportunities, the maritime affairs ministry must prioritize the development projects, which could create job opportunities and bring about regional development, besides yielding dividends.
The maritime affairs minister apprised the meeting of various measures taken by the ministry during the last 22 months of the incumbent government despite the problems inherited from the previous regime.
Briefing the meeting about the implementation of the proposed roadmap of Blue Economy, the minister said the sector faced neglect in the past despite its immense potential. However the implementation of the Blue Economy roadmap would beget numerous opportunities of employment, tourism and renewable energy. Keeping in view its importance, the prime minister had declared the year 2020 as Year of Blue Economy.
The minister also updated the meeting on the 2019 shipping policy, repayment of Rs 4.7 billion loan, inclusion of two new oil tankers in the fleet, auction of vehicles under the PM’s austerity drive, operationalization of New Boat Basin jetty, shortlisting of 11 firms for dry bulk cargo terminal and recovery of Rs 2.2 billion.
He also highlighted record increase in the profit of Port Qasim Authority, cargo handling of 270 ships despite COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing plantation of a million mangroves, completion of detailed study of the Port Qasim Authority’s master plan, construction of new terminals and rehabilitation of infrastructure.
The minister also apprised the meeting of future development projects, particularly the roadmap for early completion of the projects allied to the Gwadar Port. It was also told that the Afghan transit trade had also started from the said port.
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