Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged the Sindh government not to obstruct the launch of the Dhabeji Industrial Zone (DIZ) and to take the matter to court “positively.”
PM Khan, according to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), has directed the relevant authorities to settle special economic zone issues on a priority basis and enact measures to facilitate investment within the stated “time frame.”
He made the announcement while chairing a high-level meeting here on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
Land in the SEZs had been given to 130 enterprises for the construction of factories, according to the participants.
According to a source who attended the meeting, the premier voiced his disappointment with the delay in the DIZ’s physical debut and requested the Sindh government not to put “hurdles” in the path of the much-needed project.
The gathering was informed that the industrial zones of Rashakai, Bolan, and Allama Iqbal were already fully operational and that industries were being established there. The delegates were informed in great detail on the government’s efforts to facilitate investment in SEZs.
However, despite the award of a contract to develop the Dhabeji industrial zone, work on it was halted owing to litigation.
On October 25, 2021, PM Khan was notified that the developer for DIZ had been selected and that the Letter of Award (LoA) had been granted to M/s Zahir Khan & Brothers. The meeting was informed that the concession agreement with the developer was to be signed, however owing to ongoing litigation, the project was unable to move through with the signing of the concession agreement with the developer.
The prime minister was informed that after the contract was awarded to the winning bidder, a competitor filed a lawsuit in the Sindh High Court (SHC) disputing the award on “weak grounds.”
The plaintiff’s charges were “false and unjustified,” according to a DIZ officer who spoke at the meeting.
“Construction work can be expedited after the court vacates the stay order in the frivolous nature case,” the official said.
While the petitioner contended that the rules of SEZs were not followed in awarding the contract, the Sindh government claimed that the laws of SEZs did not apply to DIZ because it had not been granted SEZ status yet. The CPEC Authority also filed an official statement with the SHC, expressing satisfaction with the bidding process and maintaining that no irregularities in the contract award had occurred.
The DIZ would be accorded the status of a SEZ after it is completed, according to a document from the Sindh Economic Zones Management Company.
In February 2021, the Sindh government received proposals for the project. One of the bids was ruled ‘technically unsuitable’ after a two-month examination. The provincial government then went through a re-bid process, with ZKB coming out on top. The government then issued it with a letter of authorization.
The DIZ is located on the N-5 National Highway, adjacent to the ports of Bin Qasim and Karachi, and about 700 kilometres from Gwadar, which connects Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
Abu Dhabi is a city in the United Arab Emirates Prince contacts the Prime Minister. In a related development, Mohamed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, called Prime Minister Khan and expressed his sympathies to the families of the victims of the Lahore blast on January 22.
According to a statement from the PM Office, the crown prince prayed for the injured to recover quickly and strongly denounced the terrorist act that claimed three lives and injured several others.
Mr Khan assured the crown prince that the perpetrators of terrorist attacks will be brought to justice, reaffirming Pakistan’s steadfast resolve to combat terrorism in all of its forms and manifestations.
The Prime Minister also reaffirmed Pakistan’s intention to engage with the UAE to expand bilateral ties, improve multilateral collaboration, and maintain close coordination on regional and global issues of mutual importance.
Premier Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Kashmir Committee Chairman Shehryar Afridi met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday to discuss the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTIcurrent )’s reorganisation as well as development projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Mr Khan emphasised the importance of public officials speeding up their public engagement campaigns and strengthening collaboration with the local administration in order to resolve public issues quickly.