Prime Minister Imran Khan, on July 5, 2021, visited Gwadar to launch a number of projects. During his one-day visit, the prime minister also performed a groundbreaking ceremony of Gwadar Free Zone (GFZ) and received a detailed review of the ongoing development work in the province of Balochistan. We’ve previously provided you exclusive insights on the port city and how it’s set to become the harbinger of economic prosperity for Pakistan. In this blog, however, we’ll focus on the latest mega projects in Gwadar.
Mega Projects In Gwadar & Balochistan
It’s a well-known fact that Gwadar is on its way to becoming the next big trade hub not only for Pakistan but also for other countries in the region. In addition to its location, the fact that Gwadar houses a warm water port has attracted a lot of investment in the past few years and the government’s efforts to encourage local and foreign investment here have been remarkable.
The prime minister, while addressing the launch ceremony of different initiatives in Gwadar, said the people of Balochistan have been neglected for a very long time. He added it was about time that every province was developed so that each could play its part in the economic uplift of the country.
Water, Power & Gas
While addressing the ceremony, the premier said that some of the development works in Gwadar have seen delays and a lack of implementation of the plans which is because of the absence of power and resources in some areas. Lack of supply of power to areas where development was planned is one of the reasons why progress on different initiatives was slow. In addition to that, he added that natural gas is a crucial element for industrialization for which the government has been making efforts. Similarly, the provision of clean water to these areas was also among the common issues faced. However, the premier has now ensured that power, gas and water supply in different areas will be provided so that the issues causing hindrance in the development of Gwadar can be resolved.
The PM reviewed the progress on a 180-kilometre-long water pipeline that will connect multiple dams. Among the MoUs signed was also a project for desalination of water. The desalination plant will be established in Gwadar which will have the capacity of 1.2 million gallons per day as a gift from the Chinese government. The plant will be established in a short duration of one year.
The premier put a huge emphasis on enhancing the connectivity of the city with other areas of the country via ground as well as air. He cited the example of Eastbay Expressway Gwadar, a project under CPEC, due to be completely constructed by October this year, which has helped create 2,000 direct jobs. Another mega project, an international airport, is also in the pipeline. The airport will not only boost trade but also tourism in the region.
These mega projects in Gwadar will not only improve trade and investment opportunities but also increase the number of jobs for locals.
Human Development Programmes
Since the industry is going to grow in the port city, the jobs created will require technical skills, which can cause a disparity in locals and people coming from other provinces to earn a decent livelihood. To remove that disparity and make people equipped with skills that will be most used and required, a technical college is being established in the city. People will be trained with different skills so that as soon as the demand for skilled labour and technical staff increases, people can apply.
Another project for uplifting the people of Balochistan is to upgrade the equipment of fishermen working in the coastal areas. This project includes upgrading ships and fishing nets of the fishermen so that they have proper means to earn their livelihood.
Health is another important issue that was addressed by PM Imran Khan in the ceremony. For the premier, health is an important issue that he has focused on for the people of Balochistan. While he talked about providing health cards to people to afford free treatments for themselves and their families, the PM also announced establishing a hospital with a capacity of 500 beds.
Through other programmes of the federal government like the Ehsaas Programme and Naya Pakistan Housing Programme people will be able to get cheap loans for farming and businesses along with subsidized loans for houses. Apart from the technical college, the government has also announced establishing a university for students to acquire higher education.
All this will be established and achieved under the federal government’s development package for Balochistan. The province has received the biggest ever federal package of rupees 730 billion to boost the economy in Balochistan.
The federal government and provincial government will review the progress on all these initiatives every month so that the timely completion of all these initiatives can be ensured. The premier, while talking about providing facilities and services to investors, said that investments by local as well as foreign businessmen that will help in export-led growth will be encouraged. Moreover, steps will also be taken to create a better environment for investors.
The geo-strategic location of cities like Gwadar present a host of opportunities for Pakistan to reduce its current account deficit and encourage export-led growth. With help of the expertise of China, Pakistan can eventually become an economic power in the region.
If you liked this piece, you should also read about the latest from the emerging market of Gwadar. For more information on the real estate in Gwadar or other cities of Pakistan, keep reading Zameen Blog.