Minister for Interior and Planning, Development & Reform, Ahsan Iqbal has said that the broad consensus amongst the federating units has provided an opportunity to expedite China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and ensure its successful completion.
“All the provinces are fully onboard and eager to pluck the fruits of CPEC” said Minister, while responding to CPEC Special Committee reports in Senate of Pakistan.
He said that provincial leadership’s is fully contributing in the decision making process since launch of this multi-billion initiative, irrespective of their political affiliation. “Chief Ministers and their teams have ensured their full participation in Joint Working Groups and Joint Cooperation Committee of CPEC, a manifestation of government’s will to guarantee transparency, inclusiveness, national cohesion and sense of equality”.
Minister said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a project of inclusive development in Pakistan, undoubtedly, offers huge dividends for the provinces and regions of Pakistan, opening new avenues of opportunities for the people of the country, particularly, under developed regions. The transport infrastructure projects of CPEC will give a boost to economic activities in far flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh thus would help in emergence of new urban and economic centers, he added.
“Economic activities at smaller level starts cropping up in the form of huts, hotels and new markets on roadside to cater the needs of traffic on completed links of the Western Route from Quetta to Gwadar-a glimpse of a bright future when the region would be “center of focus” of local and foreign investors to benefit from the economic potential of these areas” Minister highlighted.
Minister underlined that Western Route project, approved by All Parties Conference held on 28th May, 2015, is under execution as decided by the national leadership.
Ahsan Iqbal said that a number of provincial infrastructure projects, Mirpur Mansehra Road, Nokundi Mashkhel Panjgur Road and Gilgit Chitral Chakdara as well as development of Keti Bandar Port have been included in CPEC which would further enhance connectivity in the province. He further said that under CPEC, circular railway projects are being implemented in all the four capitals.
Ahsan Iqbal said that CPEC’s Special Economic Zones in the provinces would enable to attract investment different sectors thus would boost the overall economic status of the provinces. SEZs would help in creation of thousands of jobs for local youth, he added. “Government is planning two to three road shows in China to attract investors to ensure early population of these SEZs, he told the Senate. This cooperation would be completed from 2020 to 2025 and it is open for all investors, Minister informed.
Minister highlighted that the 820 km long fiber optic that passes through GB and KP to connect Rawalpindi and Khunjrab is planned to be completed this year. “The project will not only turn the trade corridor into a digital corridor and would bring boom to IT related industry in this region along the route”.
Ahsan Iqbal further told that under CPEC, government was able to attract US $ 5 billion to explore Thar Coal resources for the first time in the history of Pakistan. China has proved as a trust worthy friend of Pakistan by investing and completing mega energy projects in the country that helped in overcoming energy crisis. “All the power plants meet international environmental standards as it is based on new and super critical technology power plants”, he highlighted.