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Keti Bandar project may be revived

March 22, 2007


KARACHI, March 21: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Wednesday hinted at reviving the Keti Bandar project to develop a third port in Sindh. “If found feasible, the third port will be constructed at Keti Bandar,” he said, while speaking at the foundation-stone laying ceremony of Rs3 billion five-star hotel project in Karachi.

The Keti Bundar project was initiated by the PPP government to promote coal-based energy alternatives and to develop medium- and small-scale industries. But the project was abandoned by the subsequent government.

The hint about revival of the Keti Bandar project was dropped by the prime minister a day after President Gen Pervez Musharraf announced that a second port in Balochistan would be developed at Sonmiani and its ground-breaking ceremony would be performed this year.

Mr Aziz said the Ministry of Ports and Shipping would look into the feasibility of the project and, if found workable, the government would go ahead with the project.

At one of three foundation-stone laying ceremonies held at the Governor’s House, Mr Aziz stressed the need for promoting tourism, with emphasis on business tourism, religious tourism and nature tourism.

“This sector has very vast potential and is going to generate a lot of economic activities, attracting investment and leading to creation of job opportunities,” he said, while speaking at the ceremony for the five-star Sofitel Hotel.

The ceremony was attended, among others, by Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, federal Minister for Tourism Nilofar Bakhtiar, provincial Minister for Labour and Industries Adil Siddiqi and a large number of industrialists, investors and financiers.

The prime minister said that the three major ceremonies -- for Textile City, Sofitel Hotel and JPMC Towers -- represented an economic boom.

Mr Aziz said that infrastructure was being developed, along with power-generating capacity, to meet future requirements of the economic hub of the country.