Friday Jun 03, 2022
QUETTA: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday was dismayed at the development lag in Gawadar and vowed to work on "war footings" for the port city.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Gwadar Eastbay Expressway, the prime minister said the Gwadar Airport has not been completed since its foundation back in 2017-18.
The premier lamented that Chinese President Xi Jinping had provided the funds required for the airport, but due to some reasons, it has still not been completed.
The premier said that the electricity transmission lines could not be laid even after many years. "The previous government also did not start the dredging of Gwadar Port," said PM Shehbaz.
He added that Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has been directed to meet the ministers concerned and complete all the projects on time.
Further, the premier lauded the Chinese government for setting up a desalination plant in Gwadar.
"There might be a reduction in the water reserves. If the plants were installed first at cheaper rates, then every household would have drinking water by now," said the PM.
PM Shehbaz also said that solar panels are being provided to 3,200 families living in the city. He said that getting electricity from Iran might be a good decision.
The PM further added that the government will provide free engines to the deserving fishermen. The fishermen were given 2,000 engines in the first phase.
Shedding light on the government's austerity drive, the prime minister said that he will take strict measures in tomorrow's cabinet meeting and the government officials and people belonging to the upper socioeconomic classes will have to agree with the measures.
"First of all, I, including the federal ministers and other leaders, will have to face the tough measures," he said, adding that the upper class will have to make sacrifices and adopt simplicity.
PM Shehbaz said that an additional 500,000 families from Balochistan will be included in the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
A day prior, the federal government decided to increase the petrol price to Rs209.86 per litre. The prices of petrol, diesel, and light diesel were hiked by Rs30 per litre, while the rate of kerosene oil was increased to Rs26.38 per litre, effective from June 3.