Delay in Gwadar Master Plan irks lawmakers

Delay in Gwadar Master Plan irks lawmakers

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reform expressed its dismay over unnecessary delay in announcement of Gwadar Master Plan and directed the Ministry to prepare and announce the plan as early as possible.

Chaired by Senator Agha Shahzaib Khan Durrani, the Committee said the Planning Ministry must come up in the next meeting with full preparation and inform the Committee about the reasons of delay.

Senator Kauda Babar said due to Gwadar Master Plan, no one was allowed to construct houses in the area which was causing discontent among the local people.

He said members of National, provincial assemblies and the Senate should also be included in the steering committee specifically formed for this purpose in order to help preparing a comprehensive plan.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform informed the Committee that work on Western Route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was in process and this rout would be the top agenda of meeting of Joint Coordination Committee on CPEC to be held in Beijing next month.

Senator Usman Khan Kakar said D.I.Khan-Kuchlak section of CPEC Western Route was getting delay and land acquisition process for some of the section was yet to be done which would further increase the cost of the project.

He said despite imposition of Section 4 on the route, the construction was still ongoing and if the construction is not stopped, the project would further delayed.

The Committee directed that the representatives of National Highway Authority, Ministry of Finance and Balochistan government should be present in the next meeting to discuss the matter in detail.

Discussing on another agenda, Senator Kauda Babar said the Turbat University campus in Gwadar should be up-graded to University of Gwadar as the number of students in the campus was rapidly increasing and at present, around 250 students were enrolled in the campus.

With regard to allocation of funds for various projects under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), the Committee was informed that during first quarter of current fiscal year Rs 94 billion were released out of total allocation of Rs 675 billion which was 14 percent of total allocation.

The Chairman of the Committee noted that according to rules the government must have been released 20 percent of total allocation during first quarter.

The officials of the Ministry said that during first few weeks, the government had to rationalize the allocation due to which funds release got delayed.