Discussions are underway for a huge coastal development project under CPEC
Islamabad, (Parliament Times): Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi was called on by H.E Yao Jing, Ambassador of China to Pakistan in the backdrop of a major initiative envisioned for the residents of Karachi. The Minister of Maritime Affairs vision is of transforming Pakistan into a Maritime Nation and especially raising the port city par excellence with leading ports. The Hon’ Minister is endeavouring to fast track projects designed to transform encroached land into systematically planned residential areas having all the basic amenities in a state of the art manner. The project is expected to attract substantial FDI. “Globally, the port runs the cities whereby revenue streams of ports are utilized for the betterment of the people” observed Ali Zaidi citing the examples of Los Angeles and New York ports. “Karachi has been neglected since independence, resource allocation was minimum with available resources plundered rampantly in collusion with property mafia and land grabbers” lamented Ali Zaidi.
The project initially set for launch in the first quarter of 2020 got delayed due to COVID-19 outbreak. Pioneering the concept of Blue Economy in Pakistan, Ministry of Maritime Affairs is poised to launch projects leading to the sustainable exploitation of marine resources, and enhancement in turnaround time of cargo at ports. An enabling environment is being established in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner.
These initiatives are the outcome of efforts of the Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, emphasising the significance of Pakistan’s coastline of more then a 1000 km and harnessing of the maritime potential which can rid the country of debt.
During the meeting, the Minister shared with the Ambassador that even during the present COVID -19 crisis port operations continued without any interruption. It was highlighted by the Minister that Port Qasim handled 140 ships in the month of March and 130 ships in April this year which bears testimony to the dedication with which MOMA is keeping the wheels of the economy running and Pakistan’s supply chain intact. Moreover, the Ministry intimated the Ambassador that deep-sea fishing was allowed to resume, after complying with health SOP’s, so that the fishermen were not affected adversely due to cessation of fishing.
The Ambassador of China to Pakistan appreciated the two-pronged strategy of prevention through strict adherence of SOPs and protection of employment and sustenance by MOMA in these testing times.