ISLAMABAD: Communication Secretary Iftikhar Rashid on Saturday said the amount of Gwadar Deep Sea Port’s royalty to Balochistan will be decided by the National Finance Commission but only after the port becomes operational.

Addressing a press conference, he said the port’s first phase costing $248 million would be completed by the end of September or early October 2004, ahead of the scheduled completion date of March 2005. Three berths were being constructed in this phase, he said, adding that almost 80 percent of the construction work under the first phase had been completed. He said the second phase would be completed at a cost of $1 billion. He said the Pakistan government was giving $50 million out of the $248 million needed for the first phase. “China is providing the rest,” he added.

Working conditions at Gwadar were difficult and raw materials were not easily available, he said, adding that about 40,000 acres was required for the Gwadar master plan. Seventy percent of the dredging had been completed while 80 percent of the work on the first berth was completed, 40 percent on the second berth and 10 percent on the third berth was completed, he added.

Source: Daily Times