Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
A legislative body of Upper House of parliament on Thursday was informed that lack of reliable and affordable power supply was a major impediment in the development of Gwadar Port Authority (QPA).
In addition to this lack of pipelined gas, digital connectivity; foolproof security; rail and road connectivity, visa regime; foreign currency account opening and regulatory framework were other issues that delayed work processes.
These disclosers were made in the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs, which was held today at Parliament for a briefing on Port Qasim and Gwadar Port Authority.
Discussing the Gwadar Port Authority and its various projects the Committee was of the view that work was slow and stressed the need for it to be expedited. It was asserted that with minimal economic activity the port did not benefit the local populace. The Committee was informed of the challenges that the Port administration faces.
The Committee was informed of the main business model of Port Qasim and that it is a multi-facility integrated port functioning under Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) concept. Twelve terminals are currently being operated by Private Sector Enterprises. One terminal and two berths are being operated by PQA management. It was heartening to learn that out of 370m major ports, Port Qasim, stood number eighty one on the World Bank Container Port Performance Index. The master plan of the PQA Industrial Zones was also shared with the Committee.
The Committee was informed that the total area including port operation areas equals to 13770 acres. Here 388 units are operational whereas 278 units are under construction. The Committee while enquiring details of the bidding process directed the Port Authority to submit documentation so that the process could be minutely reviewed. The Committee also enquired details of safety measures taken at the Coal terminal.
Chaired by Senator Rubina Khalid, the meeting was attended by Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Saifullah Abro, Senator Danesh Kumar, Senator Moula Bux Chandio, Senator Dost Muhammad Khan, Senator Mohammad Abdul Qadir and senior officers from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs; Port Qasim, Gwadar Port Authority along with all concerned.