ISLAMABAD: The federal government will consider 70 new projects for Sindh in next year’s budget 2021-22 for uplift of social sectors and development of infrastructure, especially in the interior of the province.
The projects would be considered in energy, water resources, infrastructure, health, education, higher education and information technology sectors in Sindh, said a meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar.
It said that in the power sector, Hesco and Sepco would be upgraded, 10 new grid stations would be built in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Kotri, Tando Allahyar and Ghotki, and transmission lines would be converted into double circuit in Umerkot, Mithi and Islamkot.
Upgrade of railway stations, power sector in province being considered
It said that 1,490km gas pipeline infrastructure would also be upgraded and 180 villages would be provided gas under a five-km gasification plan. Sukkur and Hyderabad airport cargo service would be expanded and Sindh coastal area would be provided modern facilities through National Disaster Risk Management Fund for tsunami and earthquake protection, it said.
The meeting proposed setting up Nadra facilitation centres in 30 talukas of the province and upgrading passport offices in 16 districts. A new programme for encouraging youngsters in sports had also been proposed, it said.
The meeting said that ministry of railways had informed that major railway stations like Hyderabad, Nawabshah and Rohri would be upgraded under public-private partnership. The meeting briefed the federal minister about the plans to improve internet and telecom infrastructure in 12 districts of Sindh.
The federal minister directed the meeting to use modern technology in new projects and instructed officers concerned to upgrade 66kV grid station to 132kV so that better electricity service was provided to consumers.
He asked the officers concerned to complete the Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway (M-6) project as soon as possible under public-private partnership. The first priority of Prime Minister Imran Khan was to provide modern facilities to backward areas and raise living standard of people, he said.
Meeting on CPEC projects
The minister met the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) vice president Sun Yaoguo and his delegation to review the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and CRBC’s mega-project Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone here on Friday.
Mr Yaoguo said that the development work on Rashakai SEZ was being carried out at a fast pace and assured the minister that the timelines for the projects would be met. He highlighted that external marketing of the SEZ to local and foreign investors was crucial for its full operationalisation.
He said the company would carry out the marketing campaign for the SEZ and was keen to work with BOI in this regard.
Mr Umar said that industrial cooperation was the need of CPEC and the government was keen to see early completion of the project. The ministry of energy had already expedited work on supply of electricity and gas to the SEZ and BOI would fully cooperate with CRBC for effective marketing of the SEZ, he said.
He said that it was the first time in Pakistan that a foreign developer would be marketing an industrial zone and hoped that CRBC would be able to attract substantial investment to the SEZ from Chinese investors.
He said that the Karachi Costal Development Project was an important project and the federal cabinet had approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard. It would give a boost to business and technology sectors and provide employment opportunities to people, he said.
Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2021