Gwadar Port project has been handed over to China, NA told

Islamabad: The National Assembly was informed Wednesday that the Optical Fiber Based Transmission Link between Keti Bandar/Port Qasim Karachi to Jiwani has been completed at a cost of 368 million rupees against the estimated cost of 627 million rupees.

Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah told the House during question hour that the project was completed in June 2009 with a saving of 259 million rupees. He said that the link between Gwadar and Jiwani has been completed at a cost of 26 million rupees.

To a supplementary question, the Minister said that the Gwadar Port project has been handed over to China on standardized terms and conditions. He said the project will contribute a lot for prosperity and development of the country particularly in the Balochistan province.

He said through this port we will be able to extend our trade with the world particularly the Central Asian States.

To another question, the Minister said there has been no ban on the export of livestock/animals in the country.

He, however, said the High Court of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar has imposed ban on export of live animals, meat, poultry birds, chicken meat, eggs and poultry feed to Afghanistan through all Customs exit points in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province due to the scarcity of livestock and poultry birds and poultry products in the province.

Answering a question, Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah said that National Information Community Technology Research and Development Company has launched several projects for upheaval of ICT sector during the last four years.

Replying to a question, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira told the House that efforts are underway to make the country self-sufficient in tea because a large amount of foreign exchange is being used for the import of tea.

He said research is being conducted to increase the production of tea in the country and a number of nurseries have been set up in this regard.

Meanwhile, Replying to a call attention notice moved by Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho and others regarding vandalism of public parks in Islamabad, Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah told the House that the government is taking steps to improve the condition of the parks in the capital.

He said presently there are 178 small and six large parks in the federal capital and proposal is under consideration to increase the number of parks and play grounds. He said the vacant places in different sectors will be utilized for this purpose.