Govt rolls back Textile City KARACHI: The Pakistan Textile City launched amid much fanfare more than a decade ago to provide state-of-the-art facilities to the textile industry is now being rolled back by the federal government, official sources told Dawn on Wednesday.
Spread over 2,500 acres, the zone was aimed to provide world-class facilities to the textile industry so that it could comply with standards of the World Trade Organisation.
But even after 11 years, not a single industrial plot could be sold as the development work remained extremely slow, sources said.
Above all, the government dragged its feet on the megaproject as it failed to ensure water, gas and power to the textile city.
The project was conceived — to be developed at Port Qasim — at a time when the country was already facing acute shortage of power, gas and water and not a single megawatt was added to the national grid.
Early this year, the issue of the Pakistan Textile City came into the notice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with a suggestion that a piece of land of the city should be sold for setting up a power plant, official sources said.
The summary put before the prime minister suggested that it would ease off the financial woes of the Pakistan Textile City which accumulated a huge loan portfolio of around Rs5 billion.
However, the premier did not give his nod and formed a committee headed by advisory on law with members secretary finance, secretary textile and chairman of the Port Qasim Authority (PQA).
Sources said the committee has advised the government to hand over the land to PQA which would also clear all the outstanding dues because the textile city was funded by a consortium of banks.
The National Bank of Pakistan was a lead bank with biggest share in the textile city and the Sindh government and PQA had a share of 8 per cent each, official sources said.