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0.1 million tons of fertiliser to be imported via Gwadar Port

ISLAMABAD (February 20, 2011) : Total 0.1 million tons fertiliser will be imported through Gwadar Port in the next 10 days, from February 20 to 28. This was stated by officials of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping on Saturday in the meeting Senate Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping which met here with Senator Gulshan Saeed in the chair at Parliament House.

Senators Dr Abdul Malik, Tariq Azim Khan, Dr Muhammad Ismail Buledi, and Almas Pareveen, the Secretary, Ministry of Ports and Shipping, the Chairman, Port Qasim and others attended the meeting. The Committee showed serious concern over the functioning and infrastructure of Gwadar Port and asked the Ministry to provide details of the agreement with Singapore Company.

The Secretary informed the Committee that 0.1 million tons fertiliser would be imported through Gwadar Port in next ten days of this month. He said that there is total of 298 acres land of Gwadar Port while 98 acres land would be further acquired.

He admitted that Gwadar Port is not properly functioning due to lack of facilities of roads, transportation and infrastructure. He said that only urea and wheat could be imported through this port. He said nowadays only fertiliser is being imported while Pakistan is in a position to export wheat. Dr Abdul Malik said that the government has acquired 2281 acres land on release for Singapore Company while 584 acres land would be more acquired.

He also claimed that Singapore Company which has signed agreement on Gwadar Port is near defaulter. He claimed that Grade 18 officer of the government has signed agreement with Singapore Company on Gwadar Port. The members of the Committee expressed concern over land of Gwadar Port and Port Qasim which has been given on release and demanded to the chairperson of Committee to summon the Finance Minister and the Chairmen of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

The chairperson has summoned the Finance Minister and the Chairman of FBR in next meeting. The chairperson also asked the Ministry to provide details of terms and conditions of signed agreement of the government with Singapore Company on Gwadar Port and releasing of land of ports. The Committee also expressed concern over damage to the roads due to transportation of Nato heavy containers and recommended to the government to sign an agreement with Nato forces for the construction of roads. The members seriously showed concern over the damaging of 50 percent roads due to heavy containers.

Port Qasim Authority (PQA) Chairman Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafi told the Committee that two companies have signed contract with Nato force for supply of goods to Afghanistan. He said that thousands of containers are coming in Pakistan through Port Qasim.

Tariq Azim expressed concern over the dallying of LNG project and said that this project should have been completed in 2009. He said that the country was already facing shortage of gas; especially many industries have been affected. The Chairman of Port Wasim told the Committee that this project was started by the previous government but it was stopped after 2007 due to filing case against it in the Apex Court.

He said that after the Supreme Court judgement, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources sent a summary to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister Secretariat referred this summary to Law Ministry, he said. The Law Ministry has recommended new bidding of this project, he said.

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