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Pakistan plan to establish Gawadar Special Economic Zone
06-18-2013, 12:18 PM
Post: #1
Pakistan plan to establish Gawadar Special Economic Zone
Pakistan plan to establish Gawadar Special Economic Zone

Islamabad, June 12: An investment and business friendly budget with a total outlay of 3591 billion rupees for the financial year 2013-14 was presented in the National Assembly this afternoon.

Presenting the budget‚ Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that as per Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's vision‚ the budget has been designed to ensure a progressive way to revive and strengthen the national economy.

This involves stability in all fields‚ creation of new employment opportunities and development of infrastructure to give a boost to economic activities.

He said every effort will be made to transform the country into a real progressive and welfare state and regain the lost glory.

Ishaq Dar said we inherited ruined economy but we have the resolve to change the course and make the country self-reliant in all fields.

He said new budget is based on the PML-N's election manifesto.

The finance minister said private sector will be converted into real engine of economy as it is not possible for the government to take responsibility of market economy.

He said all possible facilities will be provided to private sector to give a boost to economic growth. The government's top most priority will be to improve education‚ health‚ and population welfare‚ development of infrastructure and construction of mega projects.

Ishaq Dar the government as no progress and economic growth could be made without electricity.

Ishaq Dar said the government will not rely on subsidies. The government will prepare a comprehensive plan to improve the lot of poor and deprived segments of society and involve them in the national development programmes.

The finance minister said the government will take strict measures to bring down fiscal deficit which will definitely lead to control in inflation. The fiscal deficit which is 8.8 percent of the GDP will be brought down to 4 percent in the next three years.

He said new national savings schemes will be introduced besides obtaining cheap foreign debts to control fiscal deficit also.

Referring to the measures to overcome power loadshedding the Finance Minister said on the directive of the Prime Minister circular debt will be settled down within sixty days which will help improve electricity supply. The prime minister will announce a comprehensive energy policy shortly to improve power generation and supply situation.

He said formalities to install 425 MW Nandipur hydel power project are in final stage and it will be made operational within next eighteen months.

The Finance Minister said subsidies on gas‚ electricity‚ food‚ fertilizers etc will be reviewed and rationalised.

He said the government will make a new policy to re-enter international investment market besides relaunhcing privatization programme in transparent way. Measures will also be taken to generate maximum employment opportunities and private sector will be involved in this regard.

He said Benazir Income Support programme will continue for the poor people and its allocation are being enhanced from forty to seventy-five billion rupees. A strategy will be devised to enable the deserving people benefitted from this programme to become self-sufficient through establishing their own businesses.

Ishaq Dar said reformation of national institutions including financial enterprises will be made besides bringing administrative and financial changes in them.

He said the government will implement a Medium Term Macro Economic Development Programme which will be implemented during the next two years. Under this programme‚ GDP growth rate will be brought to seven percent while inflation will be contain into single digit.

He said investment will be increased by 20 percent and fiscal deficit till be brought down to 4 percent. Foreign exchange reserves which stands at present at eleven billion dollars will be increased upto twenty billion dollars by 2015-16.

In the energy sector‚ Ishaq Dar said the government has decided to launch new hydel‚ nuclear and coal power projects besides shifting the hydel projects on coal. Measures will also be taken to reduce line losses and improve transmission system which will help overcome energy crisis.

He said to give a boost to economic activities it has been decided to expand road network and link it to Gwadar port. Work on three sections of Motorway including Faisalabad-Khanewal‚ Karachi-Hyderabad and Gwadar-Ratodero will be expedited. The Motorway network will be completed by the government in its tenure which will help give new dimension to the economic growth.

The finance minister said the Prime Minister has estbalished initial contact with China for construction of a modern express way from Gwadar to Kashgar which will be modern version of Karakoram highway. It will open a new era of development in the region.

He said Railways which was the most reliable mode of transportation was also destroyed but the new government has decided to rehabilitate and upgrade railway network and its infrastructure.

He said a comprehensive plan is being chalked out under which railway will be made a independent corporation which will be governed by a board of governors. Under this plan‚ all railway assets will be utilised through public-private partnership. Besides‚ signaling system of railway will be modernised.

The finance minister said feasibility study to link Pakistan with Afghanistan and China through rail will be worked out.

He said Karachi circular railway project will be launched through Japanese technical and financial assistance.
Ishaq Dar said 18 billion rupees have been allocated for development programmes of universities through Higher Education Commission. The number of foreign scholarships would increase from 4249 to 6249 next year.

In the industrial sector‚ the Finance Minister said more incentives would be offered for Export Processing Zones and new Export Processing Zones would be set up with the support of the provinces.

Under a comprehensive plan‚ Gawadar Special Economic Zone would be created.

Ishaq Dar said that under a new housing plan‚ three marla housing schemes will be launched on the state land to allot plots to the shelterless free of cost.

Under public private partnership‚ one thousand colonies consisting of 500 homes each will be established for allotment amongst low income families. Besides‚ 3.5 billion rupees have been allocated to share part of the mark up for provision of loans for housing building.

The finance minister said housing schemes on the pattern of Aashiana Housing Scheme of Punjab would be launched in other provinces.
Later‚ the finance minister presented before the National Assembly the finance bill 2013 to give effect to the budgetary proposals for financial year 2013-14.

He also presented supplementary grants for financial year 2012-13 before the house for approval.

Later the house was adjourned to meet at eleven on Saturday morning when it will commence debate on the new budget
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