GAWADAR: President Dr Arif Alvi has called for further facilitating cross-border trade with neighbouring countries to boost exports as well as provide employment opportunities to the people living near the border areas of Balochistan. He asked the relevant stakeholders to fully equip the existing border stations by upgrading the road infrastructure, providing telecommunication facilities and establishing banking channels at crossing points to enhance border trade and bring prosperity to the remote areas of Balochistan.
The President gave these directions while chairing a follow-up meeting on border and trade management in Balochistan, in Gawadar, today. The meeting was attended by the Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Mr Abdul Razak Dawood, Governor Balochistan, Syed Zahoor Ahmad Agha, Chief Minister Balochistan, Mr Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Commander XII Corps, Lt General Sarfraz Ali, Commander Coast of Pakistan Navy, Rear Admiral Javaid Iqbal, Commander West of Pakistan Navy, Rear Admiral Jawad Ahmed, Chairman FBR, Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, Chairman CPEC Authority, Mr Khalid Mansoor, Chairman OGRA, Mr Masroor Khan, and Chief Secretary Balochistan, Mr Mather Niaz Rana, and senior officials of the Government.
The meeting was updated on the status of various issues raised by the Government of Balochistan in a meeting held on 3rd January 2022, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad. The meeting was informed about the border trade issues and illegal fishing in the coastal areas of Gawadar. It was highlighted that necessary groundwork for the provision of basic necessities to the residents of Gawadar would be completed within 06 months. Chairman CPEC Authority apprised that the project for the provision of 1.2 million gallons per day (MGD) of water to the people of Gawadar would be completed within 06 months.
The meeting was also briefed about the progress on the development of Gawadar Airport and the hospital. In order to encourage and facilitate foreign investors, the meeting was told that the process of the issuance of No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to foreign investors had been streamlined that would now be issued in four weeks.
Chairman OGRA apprised the participants that the top ten Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), possessing storage facilities in Balochistan and having valid licenses, had been directed to establish two additional petrol pumps in each district of the province to meet the fuel requirements of the province. The meeting lauded the Government’s decision to reduce the number of security check posts in Balochistan.
Addressing the meeting, the President highlighted that the issues being faced by the traders belonging to border areas of Balochistan should be addressed on a priority basis. He welcomed the State Bank of Pakistan’s decision of directing banks to establish banking channels at border trading points. He underlined the need for the skill development of the youth of Balochistan enabling them to fully benefit from the employment opportunities in Gawadar.
The President reiterated the Government’s commitment to address the sense of deprivation of Balochistan and bring it at par with other provinces of the country. The Governor and Chief Minister of Balochistan deeply thanked the President for taking a keen interest in the development of the province as well as resolving the issues being faced by its people.