PM satisfied over CPEC progress

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-Chairs high level meeting attended by COAS
-Says the current govt trying to establish record SEZs
-Announces Rs370 billion development package for GB

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday expressed satisfaction over the progress of ongoing projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The premier chaired a high-level session to review the progress of CPEC projects which was attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, foreign minister, finance minister, planning minister, commerce minister and other senior officials.
PM Imran Khan said that the present government has completed various projects of the previous governments during the last 2.5 years.
He said that the present government is paying special attention to the establishment of special economic zones (SEZs). The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led federal government expedited development work on Rashkai, Dhabeji, Allama Iqbal Industrial City and Gwadar Industrial Zone.
He added that local and foreign investors have shown interest in the industrial zones. He vowed that CPEC projects will be completed at any cost as it exhibits the strong ties between Pakistan and China. PM Khan was of the view that CPEC will become a key component of Pakistan’s development strategy. He also said that youth should be prepared as the mega economic project will generate employment opportunities in Pakistan.
On the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the pace of work on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects has been accelerated. In December last year, the Ministry of Communications had released a video of the CPEC projects. As per details shared by the ministry, the construction of two important motorways had been completed.
Hakla DI Khan motorway would be opened for traffic in June next year, while 40 per cent of construction work of the Khuzdar-Bisma project has been completed. Construction work on the Khushab Awaran motorway will commence next month, while the tender for the Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway has been issued.
Work on the second phase of the Swat motorway will commence next month, according to the details shared by the communication ministry. New projects including, Sukkur-Hyderabad, Mangla-Mirpur, Giglt Shandoor Chitral motorway and others will be sent to the JCC after approval from the JWG.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a five-year development package worth Rs370 billion for Gilgit-Baltistan during his visit to the area.
Addressing a ceremony in GB, the prime minister said that the government was starting with a package worth Rs370bn to be spent over five years and that never before had such an amount been spent in the area. “We will keep helping you,” he added. The prime minister said that he had been waiting a “long time” to bring such a package for GB “which could bring development in actual terms to the region”.
He said that at the moment, Pakistan didn’t have enough resources, which he hoped it would have in the future, and there was demand from people all over Pakistan for money and government help so despite all that, “bringing a package like this I think is a very big achievement for Pakistan and GB.”