Islamabad: The proposed new city of Zulfiqarabad in Sindh took a significant step forward as a Chinese company submitted a proposal to set up an economic zone in the new city and also offered to sign MOU before the forthcoming visit of the Chinese Vice President to Pakistan. The economic zone, as proposed by the Chinese investor, will house leading investors and industrialists from China to undertake mega developmental projects in the new city project.
This was stated during a briefing today in the Presidency chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari. Those who were present during the briefing included Finance Minister Dr. Hafeez Sheikh, Secretary General Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Dr. Nadeem-ul-Haq, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Secretaries of Communication, Economic Affairs and Planning divisions, Chairman NHA and other senior officials.
From Sindh Government, the meeting was attended by Provincial Finance Minister Mr. Murad Ali Shah, Mr. Shavaiz Shamon, Senior Member Board of Revenue, and other concerned senior officials.
Briefing media Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar said that the proposed economic zone would not be confined to industrial and economic activities but cover the entire range of activities in a modern metropolis.
According to the proposal, the development program would be spread over 15 years split in two three-five year programs. Initially the industrialists and investors from China would be brought in to initiate the developmental activities which would subsequently be followed by investors from other countries.
Farhatullah Babar said that a significant feature is that the Chinese would invest and reinvest for 15 years before taking out profits.
The President directed that the Chinese proposal for the economic zone be thoroughly studied and recommendations forwarded to the Government, at the earliest.
He said that the whole idea of setting up a new city was to meet the challenges of the future and to develop safe, modern and an environment friendly coastal city having world class amenities with economic opportunities not only for the habitants of the city but also for the people of neighbouring areas.
He reiterated his call to the developers that the city be developed in accordance with the most modern and latest concepts of city planning. The President said that the study of recent concepts of town planning would be helpful in designing the city and to equip it with state of the art facilities. Putra Jaya of Malaysia and Islamabad model could also be replicated to ensure harmony and symmetry, he said.
Lt. Gen ® Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, Managing Director ZDA, while briefing the meeting about the overall progress on the city projects informed that the development of the new city inter includes construction of Zulfiqarabad Expressway and a bridge over Indus at Dhandhari. He said that to accelerate the work on the proposed city, ZDA was in an advanced stage of hiring a consultant for conceptual Master Planning of the city.
It may be recalled that during previous meeting on the subject in June this year at the Presidency, the President was informed that the process of opening bid documents for short-listing the firms for the issuance of Request for Proposal (RFP) has already been completed. It was told that the process of submitting Conceptual Master Plan supported by its feasibility study would be completed by 12th December 2011.
Managing Director ZDA also informed that working has been started on the establishment of site camp office at Baghan Taluka Keti Bander on the available land. He said that initially a camp office would be set up in Porta cabin and would go in permanency with the scope of work.
Brig Jehangir Akhter, Deputy Director General FWO, briefed the meeting about status of developmental work being undertaken by FWO. He informed that FWO team has completed elaborate reconnaissance and survey for construction of Expressway and bridge over Indus at Dhandhari. Plan of Action and the cost estimates have been presented to ZDA, he informed.
The President directed that the pace of work be accelerated and efforts be geared up to attract more foreign investments in the developmental projects of the proposed city.
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