1000 acres land acquired to establish Export Processing Zone at Gwadar1,645 views
The Senate was informed on Friday that one thousand acres of land has been acquired for the establishment of Export Processing Zone at Gwadar.
Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi told the House during question hour that a consultant has been hired for the planning, designing and operation of PC-1 of the project. He said the consultant is expected to submit its report on the project by July this year.
The Minister said that the government is sponsoring several projects for the development of infrastructure and promotion of industries in less developed areas of Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.
Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar told the House in a written reply that 850 million rupees has been collected in taxes from the traders under the Voluntary Tax Compliance Scheme.
Gwadar is a port city on the southwestern coast of Pakistan’s Balochistan province where theArabian Sea meets the Persian Gulf just outside the Strait of Hormuz near key shipping routes in and out of the Persian Gulf. Under development as a free trade port, it is the district headquarters of Gwadar District. Gwadar has a population of approximately 85,000. It is about 700 km from Karachi and 120 km from the Iranian border. Gwadar was an overseas possession of Muscat and Oman from 1783 to 1958. On 8 September 1958, Pakistan purchased Oman’s exclave for 5.5 billion rupees, effective 8 December 1958. Most of the money for the purchase came from donations, MUhamad Najmul Hasnain, Muhammad Abdullah Khan, the reigning Aga Khan, contributing the most. The government paid the remainder through taxes.The area was integrated into Balochistan province on 1 July 1977 as the Gwadar District subdivision.
In 2011, it was designated the winter capital of Balochistan province.
Gwadar Port is a strategic warm-water deep-sea port developed jointly by the Government of Pakistan and theGovernment of China at a cost of USD $248 million. It was officially opened by the President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf on 20 March 2007. Before its development as a port city, the town was a fishing village. A master plan for the development of Gwadar City with land zoning and internal infrastructure networks was approved by the Government of Pakistan in 2003. The Gwadar Development Authority (GDA) is charged with the execution of the plan. A major part of its work program is focused on the fast-track construction of roads, other infrastructure, and public buildings. The provincial government of Balochistan has started with the development of infrastructure for theindustrial parks located east of the city. This rapid development accelerated population growth. The population of Gwadar city is expected to reach half a million in about five years. The new residential and commercial area of Gawadar is known as New Gawadar.
In 2013, Gwadar Port operations were officially handed over to China. Under the contract with China, the port will be further developed into a full-scale commercial port, with an initial construction investment of $750 million. The port is said to be strategically important to China because it will enable China to more safely and reliably import oil. Currently, sixty percent of China’s oil must be transported by ship from the Persian Gulf to the only commercial port in China, Shanghai, a distance of more than 16,000 kilometres. The journey takes two to three months, during which time the ships are vulnerable to pirates, bad weather, political rivals, and other risks. Using Gwadar port instead will reduce the distance these ships must travel and will also enable oil transfers to be made year-round.
In February 2013, Iran announced it would set up a $4 billion oil refinery in Gwadar with an estimated capacity of about 400,000 barrels per day. According to the plan, the Iranians will also construct an oil pipeline between its territory and Gwadar to transport crude oil for processing.