Arif Qureshi | August, 23, 2016
Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif appreciated the ongoing CPEC projects by Chinese companies saying the work on those projects was going on at a fast pace and acknowledged that those were going on at a much faster pace as compared to similar ones in China. He said the north south connectivity under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would usher in an era of prosperity in the country. He said work on several road projects was underway and the Manshera to Khunjerab road would be completed in 30 months.
He said the road network was also being linked to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and onwards to Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics, while similar linkages were being built across Balochistan to provide connectivity with Iran.
The Prime Minister was addressing after inaugural ceremony of the Capital House of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) at the PM Office, on Tuesday. FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam, Iftikhar Ali Malik, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Nisar Muhammad Khan, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan was also present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said the country was moving forward on the path of peace and prosperity as terrorism was breathing its last. “Peace is vital for economic progress and development,” on the occasion PM announced that the government would fully pay all outstanding sales tax refunds to some other vital export sectors by October 15, this year.
The Prime Minister, who also handed over a number of cheques, out of total 6,332 amounting to Rs 21.44 billion, urged the business community to play their role by investing in new areas, setting up industry and paying taxes to hasten the pace of development in the country. He was also appreciative of the finance minister for enhancing the tax revenue to Rs 3,100 billion. He said inflation was on the decline, resources were increasing, the rupee was stable and all sectors of economy were showing positive results.
He also gave a target of 6 per cent growth by the year 2018 and said if given another chance, it could go up to 12 per cent. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his government had also been at the forefront in confronting the menace of terrorism and extremism and owing to hectic efforts, the terrorists were now on the run. The Prime Minister said if there was peace, Pakistan would grow and develop further. He said peace would bring in foreign investment and help generate more electricity that in turn would power new industries. He said the time was ripe that the electricity tariffs were further reduced so as to enhance productivity.
Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan was left way behind and particularly pointed the lack of progress in the power sector over the past many decades. He mentioned the Thar Coal project and said the day was not far when the locally produced coal would help generate cheap electricity.
The Prime Minister said the duration of load shedding in the country had declined sharply since his government came into power. He also pointed to the transparency in all the new power projects and said a huge saving of Rs 100 billion had been made in three projects due to the efforts of his government.
He said the government was also working on generating electricity through liquefied natural gas, solar, hydel and wind power to meet the energy needs. The Prime Minister said three LNG projects alone would generate 3,600 MW electricity, which would be added to the national grid.
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