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Culture of strikes in Karachi should be discouraged, says PM Nawaz

Updated June 12, 2015


PM terms the setting up of oil refinery in Balochistan an important milestone. —DawnNews screengrab
PM terms the setting up of oil refinery in Balochistan an important milestone. —DawnNews screengrab

KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Friday that the culture of strikes in Karachi should be discouraged as it adversely affects the industrial sector and commerce, said a report published on Radio Pakistan.

He was addressing a function of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in Karachi this afternoon.

Nawaz said the government would consider the proposal to waive off duties on import of new plants and machinery, adding that the duties can be recovered when the plant becomes operational.

He announced that a Business Council would be formed to discuss problems and issues relating to industry and commerce, adding that it will meet regularly under his chairmanship, and hopefully become instrumental in boosting growth and exports.

The premier said work is about to begin on the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway, which would later be extended to Sukkur, Multan, Lahore and Peshawar.

He also said his government is making efforts to connect Pakistan with Central Asian States.

Nawaz also said construction of Gwadar-Quetta-Chaman and Kandhar route would open Balochistan to development.

He further said that massive investment of 46 billion dollars would be made by China under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He said two power plants of 330 MW each are to be established in Thar which would use Thar coal.

He said the ultimate objective of his government is to eliminate load-shedding and bring down electricity prices.

PM Nawaz said the government is also addressing issues of security in Karachi, Balochistan and overall in the country.

PM Nawaz inaugurates country's largest oil refinery in Hub

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated Byco Oil Refinery, the country's largest oil refinery, in Balochistan's Hub region.

The premier was received in Karachi earlier on Friday morning by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah before he departed for Hub to attend the ceremony.

Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla and Balochistan's Senior Minister and provincial President of the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) Sanaullah Zehri were also present in the ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister termed the set up of oil refinery in Balochistan an "important milestone".

He said the oil refinery will lead to economic development in the province and provide employment opportunities to the citizens. The premier said oil and gas are the most important of all natural resources.

He said some $750 million will be invested in the second phase of the oil refinery project, adding that 22 million tonnes of oil was currently being used in the country.

He said the oil refinery will help reduce country’s dependence on the import of petroleum products by over 50 per cent.

"It will take time to reach the level of self-sufficiency."

The prime minister said Gwadar would be made the first free-port of Pakistan which would be connected with Central Asia.

Also read: PM envisions Gwadar as free port

He said work on the motorway from Gwadar to Quetta and onward to Ratto Dero is underway.

He further said the government will overcome the power shortages in the country by 2017, said a report published on Radio Pakistan.

Many power projects are underway in the power sector, he said.

The premier said coal power plants are being established in Thar while another power plant with a capacity of 1,320 MW electricity is also being established at Port Qasim.

Nawaz said solar-based power projects are also being set up that will help to overcome the power shortage in the country.

Later in the day, the prime minister will attend a meeting in Karachi to review the city’s law and order situation.