QUETTA, Nov 29: The federal government has declared the Gwadar Deep Sea Port a tax-free zone for the next 20 years under the Gwadar Master Plan.

This was announced after a meeting between Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Mohammad Aslam Raisani and Federal Minister for Trade and Investment Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo in Gwadar on Saturday.

At the meeting, also attended by senior officials, issues relating to the development of the port and a new port city were discussed.It was decided that measures would be taken to foil the moves against the project and involve the local people in the development process.

Mr Wattoo informed the meeting that under the Gwadar Master Plan the port city and surrounding areas measuring 90,000 acres would be given tax-free status.

He said no tax would be imposed on construction material, construction work and construction items, adding that there would be no stamp duty in the area for 20 years.

He said efforts were being made to wipe out sense of deprivation among the local people and their involvement in the development process. He said the government was making all measures for the development of this area.

The government would import 3.7 million tons of cement and it would be brought through the Gwadar Port, the minister said, adding that cargo ships carrying wheat and fertilizer would also anchor at the Gwadar port.