Several high ranking public figures, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other ministers, were told that over 100 projects, with an approximated worth of Rs1.1 trillion, have been finalised under the Karachi Transformation Plan (KTP).
During a federal cabinet meeting, the premier had stressed the need to speed up the KPT as the people of the port city have high expectations from the government’s Karachi Package.
After the cabinet meeting – which also reviewed the economic conditions of the country – the prime minister chaired a high-level meeting of the KTP with several other key ministers, including Asad Umar, Faisal Vawda, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and COAS Bajwa.
The premier stressed on the needs of the citizens of the port city, who had suffered heavily in the rain-induced floods during the 2020 monsoon season. Stating that the damage due to floods was caused by the illegally constructed nullahs, the PM directed that a technical committee should be formed under the planning ministry to formulate recommendations for enhancing the capacity and utility of the K-4 project to supply water to the city.
He also said that alternative arrangements should be made in advance for the deserving residents of Karachi before removing the encroachments.
In a separate meeting on the Pakistan Islands Development Authority (PIDA) and the Ravi River Urban Development Authority (RUDA), the prime minister was presented with a proposal by Dutch company AWTEC Netherlands, which is seeking to establish water desalination plants and waste-to-energy plants in Karachi with an investment of $1.3 billion.
AWTEC proposed to build a waste energy and desalination plant in Karachi and expressed a keen interest in the establishment of a renewable energy plant in Lahore.
The premier said that AWTEC’s projects could help the government provide international-standard residential facilities in both Lahore and Karachi.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, AWTEC’s projects would be established on the basis of technology transfer, generating jobs and reducing the cost of power generation, adding that an MoU will be signed between the government and AWTEC soon.
Meanwhile, chairing the weekly meeting of the National Coordinating Committee for Housing, Construction and Development, the premier had directed the FBR chairman and other agencies concerned to provide facilities to overseas investors. He said, “Pakistanis living abroad are our most valuable assets so barriers to their participation in domestic business activities should be removed on a priority basis.”
PM Imran had also directed for simplification of procedure for obtaining a no-objection certificate (NOC) and other approvals for provision of new electricity connections.
The session was also attended by ex-governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Ishrat Hussain, who serves as the adviser to the PM on institutional reforms, while Special Assistants Shahbaz Gill and Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari were present as well. The chief secretaries of all provinces joined the session via video-link.
Separately, Bukhari had called on PM Imran on Thursday.
The construction project of 1,500 houses under the Workers Welfare Fund was discussed in detail during the meeting. This project would provide affordable and low-price residential houses with all basic facilities and will be inaugurated in January next year.
Appreciating the project, the prime minister said that this is a practical reflection of the government’s commitment to providing an affordable residential scheme to the masses.