SIALKOT

Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif clarified on Saturday that the actual cost of Nandipur power project was only Rs58 billion instead of Rs84 or Rs88 billion being claimed in different TV talk shows.

Talking to the media and business community at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce, he said Nandipur project was a sensational issue, which was being resolved amicably. He said that there was three-month delay in the completion of Nandipur Power Plant, adding that there were some technical faults in the project thus it would soon be converted on gas.

Khawaja Asif said that the Nandipur power project would soon be completed. He said that progress would be visible within the next 8 to 10 days. He said that the set target could not be achieved due to fuel treatment plant. He said that the target of 525 megawatts would be completed next year by converting the plant on gas.

He said, “Leveling allegations is easy; we are politicians and will tolerate the allegations. Transparency International (TI) cleared the government in Nandipur power project.”

He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had approved two mega projects of establishing the Sialkot-Lahore Motorway and an international standard University of Engineering and Technology at Sialkot. He added that both the mega projects would be helpful in socio-economic and human development of Sialkot as well.

He said that the PM had approved a mega project of establishing 90km Sialkot-Lahore Motorway project, adding the region’s remote and rural areas have been connected to the motorway. He said that the Motorway would be constructed on Build-Operate and Own (BOT) system at a cost of Rs45 billion.

He said that the construction work on the motorway project would be started in October 2015. He revealed that the Sialkot-Lahore Motorway project would be completed in the stipulated period of next two years. He noted that the Sialkot-Lahore Motorway project would open the new vistas of socio-economic in Sialkot region, especially in Pakistan’s first ever Golden Export Triangle comparing Sialkot, Gujrat and Gujranwala districts as well.

He said that National Highway Authority (NHA) had shortlisted only two companies including FWO for allotting the contract of construction of Sialkot-Lahore Motorway on BOT basis.

He added that the PM had also approved the mega project of Engineering and Technology at Sialkot, saying that the work on the university project would begin in 2016. He assured the Sialkot business community that the advanced technologies would also be brought to Sialkot Technology University to meet the growing need of export industries of Sialkot.

Later, talking to the newsmen, he said that the issue of Nandipur project would be resolved amicably within the next couple of days.

Kh Asif said that the government was resolving al the prolonged and perturbing problems of the business community, disclosing that federal government had allocated Rs.22 billion for the early clearance of refund claims related to the country’s leather, sports goods and surgical industries.

He said that government was making efforts to ensure the continuity of its trade and economic policies by taking the business community into confidence besides, paving the way for economic stability. He said that the continuity of the long and short term economic policies was vital to boost the national economy.

He hoped that Pakistan’s economy would grow and flourish soon as it needed hard work and long struggle to boost the country’s economy. He praised the valuable efforts of exporters to construct Sialkot Air Port and adding important items in the exports of the country. “The exporters of the city work hard and have lion’s share in the country’s economy,” he said. He stressed a need for the continuity of business and trade-friendly policies, saying that PML-N government’s “effective and positive” policies were helping restore the confidence of the national and foreign investors.

The policies were now bearing fruit due to which national economy was moving ahead towards the goal of economic stability. He said linked the national economic prosperity to the political stability and continuity of the policies in the country. He added that the national economy was moving in the right direction while the country needed the development of the human resources for the continuous economic growth.

Kh Asif added that the government was fully aware of the prolonged and perturbing problems of the business community and making sincere efforts for their solution. He said that the government was also strengthening national economy and boosting the industrial structure, besides, striving to overcome energy crisis.

He said that the reforms agenda by the PML-N would be a milestone in achieving economic stability, exterminating corruption, strengthening the institutions and solving the problems of the masses.

He hailed the spirit of self-help of Sialkot exporters who had established Asia’s first ever Sialkot International Airport at Sialkot in private sector. He said that the Sialkot International Airport has huge potential of cargo exports.

He added that the Sialkot exporters had been earning precious foreign exchange to the tune of US $ 1.8 billion annual and playing a pivotal role in strengthening the national economy and boosting the national exports.