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Representative Image. (Photo Credit - Reuters)
Representative Image. (Photo Credit - Reuters)

Pakistan's Dhabeji industrial zone project delayed as court reserves judgement on petition

ANI | Updated: Dec 27, 2021 14:24 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], December 27 (ANI): The Dhabeji industrial zone (DIZ) project in Thatta has been delayed as the Sindh High Court (SHC) has reserved judgement on a petition challenging the award of a contract for developing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority project in the area.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on CPEC Affairs Khalid Mansoor on Sunday expressed his displeasure over the delay and said that three other special economic zones (SEZs) are part of the corridor project were near completion, reported Dawn.
Mansoor, who is also the chairman of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority, told Dawn that the judgement reserved by the SHC on December 6 is yet to be announced.
According to a notification, the winter holidays of the high court started on Sunday and will continue until January 9. "It is believed that the judgement will be announced after winter vacations of the court," a senior official of Sindh Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC) said.
The CPEC Authority has already submitted an official statement to the SHC, expressing satisfaction over the bidding process and that no irregularity had been committed in the award of the contract.

A SEZMC document shows the Dhabeji industrial zone will be declared a special economic zone later since it is a part of the CPEC, reported Dawn.
The project, spread over 1,500 acres, is being executed in a joint collaboration with the federal government, the Sindh government and the CPEC Authority to make it a hub of major economic activity in the province.
The award of the contract was challenged in the SHC with the plea that SEZ rules had not been followed in awarding the contract.
The Sindh government is of the view that since the DIZ has not been given the status of an SEZ, the rules of special economic zones were not applied to it, reported Dawn.
Sources said the successful bidder had not yet signed an agreement with the Sindh government amid litigation.
Under the contract, the successful firm will undertake designing, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Dhabeji industrial zone on a build, own, operate and transfer basis.
The DIZ is located near the port city of Karachi, some 35 kilometres from the M-9 motorway, close to seaports of Bin Qasim Port and Karachi Port. (ANI)