Chairing a meeting to review progress and affairs of economic zones under CPEC in Balochistan Chief Minister Balochistan said, corporate governance would benefit us in mineral, sea and livestock production added special economic zones guarantees economic development. “Following burgeoning trade activities at Bin Qasim Port and KPT, there was a need of export processing zone in Gidani that would boost provincial economy.”
Jam Kamal said while addressing the meeting on Wednesday. Secretary commerce Ghula Ali Baloch has briefed the meeting regarding proposed economic zones in Balochistan under China Pakistan Economic Corridor. The meeting has reviewed the provision of land for special economic zones in the province while CM Jam Kamal has directed commerce department to submit fusibility report regarding Special Economic Zone in Gidani.
All these economic zones are being established in all the ecological zones with a greater emphasis to boost local economies of Gwadar, Khuzdar, Kech, Chaman and Bostan. The Provincial Government will arrange land for the special economic zones with an idea to develop the basic infrastructure first in those specified areas.
The scheme is part of the Government strategy to beat back poverty and handle mass unemployment from all parts of the Province by boosting the means of livelihood for the common people in the remote areas. It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to help build a decent infrastructure for future economic development by building roads, highways, technical training centres at large scale for developing human resources, providing communication,
electricity and natural gas in all four corners of Balochistan. Without the basic infrastructure, the special economic zones will be meaningless and they will be useless in economic terms. Balochistan had experienced this by establishing Industrial Estates in the past. Most of the Industrial Estates established in various parts of Balochistan proved failure and it failed to boost industrial and economic development in a significant way.
That is why the Government had decided to convert the Industrial Estate of Gwadar into a special economic zone to accelerate development process in Gwadar in the current phase or after a lapse of more than a decade. We have been suggesting in these columns that the development funds should be used more judiciously for industrial, coastal mineral and agricultural development of Balochistan instead of wasting it on gutter schemes.
if we use funds properly we can generate employment at a big scale, boost the revenue of the Government in a substantial manner. The entire money is being wasted every year on small and insignificant schemes retarding the economic growth by design and also by wasting the valuable resources. Besides implementing the Annual Development Plan of insignificant schemes, there are thousands of similar schemes in the pending in the pipeline for the next five years.
First of all, the Provincial Government should stop wasting money and invest it on economic schemes like building dams, water resources, establishing industrial units on a large scheme, mineral development, developing the unending Mekran Coast with huge potentials for development. The Federal Government should come forward and invest Rs. 100 million on special development of Balochistan annually for next 20 years so that Balochistan should come at par with the Punjab and Sindh in all respects.
Balochistan is more than half of Pakistan and it deserves a better treatment and more allocation of funds for its development. For this, all non-development expenditure should be curtailed drastically making fund available for development of all backward regions of Pakistan, including rural Sindh, Seraiki speaking areas, northern Punjab and KPK, mainly FATA where poverty and hunger is rampant.