Negotiations are in progress with China on three different power generation projects of 1100 MW each to overcome power shortages in the country, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the business community on Friday. Speaking at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) export awards distribution and launching ceremony of “11th My Karachi-Oasis of Harmony” exhibition, he said that finalisation of these projects totalling 3300 MW will take some time.
He said besides these three projects, 1200 MW is likely to be added to the national grid soon and some other small projects of power generation are in progress. At Port Qasim, two coal-fired power plants of 600 MW each are being set up, he said and added work on 10 power projects at Gadani will start soon. The prime minister pointed out that in the last 65 year a total of 17000 MW power was added to the national grid; in the next eight years, the present government has planned to induct at least 21000 MW to the national grid. There are many parties that are keen to establish power generation units based on the Thar coal, he added.
He said that China has decided to set up ten coal-fired power plants in Thar and these would be mine-mouth projects. The Prime Minister pointed out that when he took over there was 13 to 14 hours load shedding going on in the country. However after resolving circular debt, power supply was improving and 1400 MW electricity had been added to the national gird, he added.
The Prime Minister said that his government has investment-friendly policies and it wants that the investors from across the world including Chinese invest in Pakistan. Referring to PIA, he said that efforts are been made to bring PIA out of crisis and make it a profit-making organisation and improve its fleet. A very honest and competent person has been appointed as its head, he added.
He was of the view PIA must have the number of staff equal to international standard. There must be no more and no less staff. Nawaz Sharif announced that work on Lahore-Karachi motorway will be initiated soon. He said that a meeting of Economic Advisory Committee (EAC) will be held shortly to discuss and resolve business and industrial community issues and added that the committee will regularly meet after an interval of three months.
He said there will be people’s representatives nominated to the committee who will be sitting face to face with bureaucrats from the concerned government departments. He said that his government has been trying to formulate practical, sustainable and result-oriented policies to ensure economic prosperity and development in the country. Referring to law and order, he assured that the ongoing anti-crime operation will continue till achieving the desired results and providing a conducive environment for smooth operation of business, industries and other activities in the city.
He said the government is committed to restoring peace and security to the satisfaction of every citizen of the country and to attracting foreign traders and investors in the country. He noted with concern that there is travel advise of some countries and foregoers are reluctant to visit Pakistan for business deals. He said after taking over as Prime Minister he initiated interaction with political parties, business community and others and with their advice an operation against crimes was launched.
Federal Finance Minister, Mohammad Ishaq Dar said the auction for 3G/4G licenses is scheduled for 23rd April. He said due to some of unpopular and difficult decisions taken by the government to put the country on path of progress the revenue collection witnessed a growth of 17.7 pc as the government collected Rs 1,348 billion in the first eight months as compared to Rs 1,145 billion in the corresponding period last year.
“There was a time in the country when international financial institutions like the World Bank were hesitating to deal with Pakistan. However, things have changed since PML-N government assumed the charge,” he added. Leader of Businessmen Group and former President KCCI, Siraj Kassim Teli said the results of ongoing operation against criminals are not very encouraging. These days, he said, there is a surge in crimes, but this operation must continue to completely clear the city of criminals even it takes years. He said over 70 percent of crimes of all kinds take place using mobile phones and the only solution is to shut down all the prepaid SIMs in one go and get them reissued to their postal addresses as per CNICs through courier services. Former President KCCI, Zubair Motiwala proposed establishment of a self-sustained economic zones. A walled industrial zone needs to be created by inviting international developers through international bidding while energy needs to be fulfilled by setting up a power plant based on coal within the zone.
He said that Pakistani exports suffer denial of export orders for being non compliant, therefore the suggested such as zone would have all the facilities for being totally socially-compliant. President KCCI Abdullah Zaki said in present circumstances, Pakistan’s exports sector is facing severer challenges such as high cost of production, a rising trend of tariffs in electricity and gas along with increase in taxation rates, deficiency of energy, series of strikes, agitations and other related problems particularly in Karachi.
He recommended that polices and measures should focus on a conducive business and investment climate which include, broadening the tax base, high tax revenue through increasing corporate profits, building strong infrastructure, efficient utilisation of available resources, plugging the missing links in the value chain, ensuring security to human lives, pubic and private properties, development technologies and skills, and taking stakeholders on board for devising an oriented plan for the country. Earlier, the Prime Minister distributed trophies and gold medals among the winners of KCCI exports trophy awards.