GWADAR FREE ECONOMIC ZONE SPREADING OVER TWO THOUSAND ACRES OF LAND WILL BE COMPLETED NEXT MONTH

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was told Thursday that first phase of Gwadar free economic zone spreading over two thousand acres of land will be completed next month.

Responding to a question during the Questions Hour, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal said Gwadar has been linked with Quetta by constructing a 650 kilometers long road. He said that ground breaking of Gwadar International Airport is likely to be performed in first quarter of the next year.

To another question, Ahsan Iqbal said a number of projects have been planned and approved to overcome the water shortage in Gwadar.

He said a desalination plant with a capacity of five million gallons per day costing five billion rupees has been planned to provide sufficient water to the residents of Gwadar.

Answering a question, Minister for Law Zahid Hamid said that Benazir Income Support Program is conducting a nationwide survey to update the national socio-economic registry. He said the survey was launched in November last year in thirteen districts of the country. He said now the survey is being expanded across the country.

Minister of State for Industries and Production, Arshad Khan Leghari informed the House that 72% work on Bostan Industrial Estate in Pishin district has been completed while rest of the work will be completed till June next year.

Winding up discussion on the state of economy in the Upper House, Zahid Hamid said that energy and security situation is continuously improving, which will help boost economic activity in the country. He said that the growth rate in the current fiscal year is likely to be closed to the target of six percent. He said that exports have gone up as a result of an export package announced by the government in the last quarter whereas the remittances have also increased.

Zahid Hamid said growth rate of 5.3 percent recorded during the last fiscal year, was the highest in the past ten years. He said that industry, agriculture and services sectors have contributed to bolster the growth. He said the government also provided tax incentives during the last two years in various sectors.

The Minister for Law said inflation has been controlled. He said reduction of current account deficit to a manageable level to maintain the foreign exchange reserves and stability in the foreign exchange market is still a challenge. He said the government has taken a step in that direction by imposing regulatory duty on 731 items.

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