Summary for construction of Gwadar Shipyard sent to PM for approval

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Pakistan eyes producing Al-Khalid-II Tanks
Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad

Pakistan has paced up work to manufacture Al Khalid II tanks while production of modern assault rifles is also in final stages. The country is also producing the state of the bullet proof jackets.
The information was shared by Minister for Defense Production Rana Tanveer Hussain and the officials of organizations engaged in defense production while briefing the senate standing committee on defense production
The committee recommended the government to expedite efforts for construction of shipyard at Gawadar. The meeting chaired by Senator Lt. General (r) Abdul Qayyum reviewed export details of closed financial year, covering Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra, Pakistan Ordnance Factory (POF), Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT). The meeting also reviewed domestic commercial sales of POF, HIT, National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) and Karachi Shipyard. The meeting was attended by Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, Senators – Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Nuzhat Sadiq, Rubina Khalid, Sehar Kamran, Brig (r) John Kenneth Williams and officials of concerned departments.
Officials of Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Limited briefed the meeting about the proposed shipyard at Gawadar. They said that summary to set up the shipyard had been moved to the Prime Minister and Planning Commission for approval. The panel was informed that investment from a Chinese partner was also available for the project.
The Committee expressed the concern that work on the proposed shipyard had been delayed for around four years and recommended that it should be started immediately.
Minister for Defence Production expressed the hope that the shipyard would soon get a go ahead from the government. “Initially; there were some reservations that instead of Ministry of Defence Production, this project should be with Ministry of Ports and Shipping. “The Prime Minister is very much clear on this project, but I think there are some issues at the lower level,” he maintained. Chairman POF Lt General Umar Farooq and other top officials briefed the Committee about export earnings of POF during the past five years. The Committee was also briefed about domestic commercial sales of POF in the year 2016-17.
They told the meeting that around 80% POF machinery was above 40 years old and sought government’s help to upgrade the machinery and plant. “If we manage to get new machinery we will be able to give better production at cheaper rates. This will also bring us in a position to share government’s burden,” the POF Chairman stated. He said it was POF’s top most priority to be cost effective. “We are also trying our best to meet our Armed Forces requirements as well as enhance our exports,” he added.
“New machinery is their (POF’s) requirement and we should recommend that they should have that,” Senator Sehar Kamran said. Lt. General (r) Abdul Qayyum said that at the time of Independence, Pakistan had just one Ordnance factory but today it had achieved tremendous progress towards that direction.
“We are almost self-sufficient in small arms and ammunition. This is a major contribution of POF,” he added.