ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Friday assigned the ministry concerned to submit a detailed proposal regarding the import of electricity from Iran to specifically meet the future needs of Gwadar.
Briefing the media about the proceedings of the meeting of the cabinet committee held under the chair of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Special Assistant and Spokesperson to Prime Minister Musadik Malik said the participants discussed the CEPC projects in detail, including power and water supply, construction of Gwadar airport, free port, extension of the port and development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
He said the committee had asked the ministry concerned to furnish the proposal by coming weeks for import of the electricity from Iran for Gwadar.
He said Pakistan had already been importing a minor chunk of electricity from Iran on a barter basis, in order to avoid the violations of the international sanctions imposed on Iran.
To a question, he said Pakistan was ready to complete the gas pipeline project with Iran provided the international sanctions on Iran were lifted.
He said the government had tackled the power crisis efficiently, and the country would become power surplus shortly.
Malik said China had provided a grant worth Rs22.25 billion for construction of Gwadar International Airport and the preliminary design of the project had been completed. The work on the project would start by mid next year and would take another three years for completion, he informed.
He said the government would also hold the first global expo in Gwadar to promote investment in the country.
He said the government was also strategising to end the dependence on rainwater in Gwadar and had sought proposals in this regard to executing a long-term project to cope with water needs.
He told media that nine SEZs would be established representing all federating units including Gilgit Baltistan and AJK.
He said the government had announced five-year exemption from customs duty for the parties developing the SEZs and ten-year exemption for the industries to operate there provided they start functioning before June 2020.
He said the government had installed gasification plant of 600 million cubic feet within 11 months and the second one would be inaugurated within a couple of days.
To a question, Malik said finance minister was under treatment abroad, the prime minister was looking after the affairs of his ministry.
The spokesperson said the government would continue taking stringent measures to ensure the security of the CPEC as various elements were poised to foil this gigantic project.
He said the Joint Cooperation Committee on CPEC was scheduled to meet on November 21 that would take up the long-term projects under the CPEC besides discussing all relevant issues.
He said Gwadar Port was being extended, and three multipurpose berths would be added to the facility.
Apprising the media about the prime minister’s engagements during this week, the spokesperson said the National Security Committee had discussed in details about the security situation of the country, with a particular focus on CPEC and the aftermath of recent terror wave in Quetta and Bajaur.