ISLAMABAD ( Eshfak Mughal):- The cost of the New Gwadar International Airport has been surged by seven times high as the Government today approved Rs51.29 billion for the project.
The revised cost of the project reflects the public is paying heavy price due to country’s poor governance system and delaying tactics by the authorities.
According to the statement issued by the Ministry of the Finance, a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council was held under the chairmanship of Finance Advisor Shaukat Tareen on Wednesday in Islamabad.
“The ECNEC also gave approval to the New Gwadar International Airport(NGIA) 2nd revised project worth of 51,298.175 Million rupees. The 2nd revised project envisages construction of New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA) along with allied facilities over a piece of land already acquired. NGIA will replace the existing airport at Gwadar which has small terminal building with limited capacity. The new airport will be suitable for bigger aircrafts like Airbus A-380 and Boeing -747 & 777 etc for international and domestic services”.
The second revised cost is showing an increase of 138% in its construction price within five years amid a slow pace progress on an important China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) scheme.
Out of Rs51.298 billion, an amount of Rs18.1 billion is planned to be spent from the Public Sector Development Programme while the remaining Rs33.8 billion will be provided by China. China is providing a grant of 1.52 billion yuan or Rs34 billion for the project. Oman had also given a $17.5 million grant for the project.
The revised cost of the project was calculated by the Central Development Working Party last month and forwarded to the ECNEC for final approval.
It is very interesting that the project of New Gwadar International Airport was approved in 2010 in PPP Government with the amount of Rs 7.5 billion when the cost of a US Dollar was only Rs85 rupees. The work could not done as per scheduled due to delaying tactics.
The PML-N government had also revised it’s construction cost and raised it to Rs 22.2 billion when the US Dollar was blinking at Rs 100. The revised project of the airport was supposed to be completed in 2018 under the part of first phase of the CPEC.