100% funding of Gwadar airport project by China

The Chinese government is fully funding the entire construction of Gwadar International Airport, Saleem Mandviwala quoted the Chinese Ambassador as saying.

Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday informed the committee members that Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan has recently disclosed this before him. Mandviwalla said that according to the Chinese Ambassador “no money of Pakistan is being spent on construction of the airport”.

The committee members and chairman wondered why the federal government has allocated Rs 100 million in PSDP for Gwadar airport.

He said as per the Chinese Ambassador, an interest-free loan has been provided for the construction of airport at Gwadar.

The committee decided to seek an explanation from the Ministry of Planning as to why Rs 100 million has been allocated for Gwadar airport when China is providing full funding of the project.

The committee’s recommendations regarding gas projects in Balochistan, circular railway projects, cancer hospital in Loralai, allergy centers in provincial capitals and pathological laboratories in Balochistan were also discussed.

Senator Kalsoom Parveen withdrew her recommendation regarding food security. However, her recommendation regarding construction of mother and childcare hospitals in Quetta was approved.

A balance amount of rupees 333 million for infrastructure of Lasbela University and allocations for solar tube wells in Balochistan were also accepted.

Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) agreed to the proposal that dumpers must be exempted from sale tax for mining activity as was done in the case of Thar coal.

He also agreed to the proposal that seeks to make already notified custom office at border operational to deal with smuggling as suggested by the Senator of Balochistan.

The members protested against the absence of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Senator Fateh Muhammad Hassani stated that Finance Minister was not seen in the committee since Tuesday. –Business Recorder