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Premier unveils Rs118 billion for Karachi projects

Discussion in 'Pakistan Economy' started by cb4, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. cb4


    Feb 2, 2007
    +28 / 17,377 / -4
    KARACHI: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced on Thursday that the federal government will provide as much as Rs118.5 billion for Karachi-related development schemes, including the Rs42 billion Malir Highway project and the Rs15 billion Rapid Bus Transport (or Green Line) System.

    Chairing a meeting on development projects at the Governor House in Karachi during a day-long trip to the metropolis, the premier said, “We will not rest until Karachi’s status as the ‘city of lights’ is restored.”

    While announcing the Rs15 billion Green Line Bus project, Prime Minister Nawaz said the initiative will be funded entirely by the federal government.

    He also announced the release of Rs55 billion for the acquisition of land for the Karachi-Lahore motorway and directed early completion of Gadani Power Park and two power projects at Port Qasim.

    The premier also green-lighted a greater water supply scheme for Karachi, announcing that the federal government will provide Rs6.5 billion, covering half the cost of the project. “I know that the expansion of Karachi has resulted in an acute water shortage and we will resolve this issue on a priority basis,” he said while approving the scheme.

    Soon after the federal budget for 2014-15 was announced last month, political parties in Sindh, particularly the Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, had criticised the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for ignoring Karachi while announcing megaprojects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). In the wake of criticism, Premier Nawaz had at the time promised to announce a special package for Karachi

    Extortionists to be tried under PPO

    Presiding over a separate meeting on law and order at the Governor House on Thursday, Prime Minister Nawaz took strong exception to extortion being collected from the business community and asked officials to register anti-terrorism cases against extortionists and kidnappers under the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO).

    “Time and again I have asked you [law enforcers] to take action [against criminals] irrespective of party or other affiliation. We don’t want capital and industries to move away from Karachi due to poor law and order,” he told representatives of law enforcement agencies following a meeting with the city’s business community.

    In their meeting with the premier, businessmen complained heavily of extortion and kidnapping for ransom. They urged him to deploy the army in the city without any delay to curb crime.

    “After the [targeted] operation began in September last year, we got relief for no more than two months,” a business community representative said. “Our humble request is that the army be deployed in Karachi, the same way it has been deployed in Islamabad and Multan, just for three or four months.”

    “This is the only way to bring peace to Karachi as the targeted operation has now been politicised,” he added.

    Abdullah Zaki, the president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, who was present in the meeting, asked the government to block all prepaid mobile phone sims until they were verified. Renowned businessman Aqeel Karim Dhedhi urged the government to end the use of bulletproof cars and VIP culture, saying it would help end crime.

    According to sources, in response to the business community’s complaints, the prime minister asked Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to ‘cleanse the city of terrorism’.

    The chief minister, meanwhile, said that businessman in their meeting with him last week said they were happy with the targeted operation in Karachi and lauded the actions of Rangers and policemen. “Now they have come up with a new demand for army deployment. It makes me wonder.”

    During the law and order meeting, the premier was briefed by the Rangers director general and Sindh chief secretary. “We have sent many criminals to jail but the conviction ratio is only 5%,” the Rangers DG said. The prime minister wanted to know why decisions taken at the last law and order meeting in Karachi had gone unimplemented.

    He also asked why anti-teror courts had not been moved to safer locales. At the same time he directed concerned officials to revise the security and service plans for major installations and ask law enforcers to also crack down on militants in settled areas as part of their operation.

    Premier Nawaz also held a separate meeting with political leaders and sought their input on the Karachi operation.

    Transforming the city: Premier unveils Rs118 billion for Karachi projects – The Express Tribune

    All these projects should have been done by PPP-MQM Provincial Government.... Really shame on them.