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Economic growth rate of 5pc achieved, claims Ahsan


4/26/2017

NAVEED BUTT 

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan has achieved an economic growth rate of five per cent and the world’s key investors are eying Pakistan as a potential investment market due to political stability. 
 
He expressed these views here on Tuesday, while addressing the participants of 106th National Management Course who visited Planning Commission as part of their inland study tour. 
 
The minister told the participants that Pakistan needs to benefit from opportunities being offered by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and transform its economy to a modern industrial economy. 
 
The minister briefed the participants that global political landscape is changing sharply and inward political approach is being followed by the US, UK and Europe. He said that in contrast, China is promoting regional and global connectivity across the Asia Pacific region as part of its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative. He said that in the same vein, Pakistan’s Vision 2025 enables it to leverage its geo-strategic location and explore the economic options offered therein. He said that the CPEC is a fusion of Pakistan’s Vision 2025 and ‘One Built, One Road’ initiative. 
 
Stressing the importance of Pakistan’s geographical location, he said that the CPEC would physically and economically integrate Pakistan with China, Central Asian Republics and Eurasian region under the wider framework of ‘One Belt, One Road (OBOR)’ and Pakistan vision 2025. 
 
He said that the CPEC has changed world narrative about Pakistan. “The country which was ranked as the most dangerous country of the world is now termed as emerging economy.” Pakistan is labelled as a safe haven for billion dollar Chinese investment, he added. 
 
Explaining the breakdown of Chinese investment under the CPEC, he stated that the US $ 35 billion investment under energy portfolio is being done in independent power producers (IPPs) mode, which is being regulated by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA). He further said that the CPEC energy projects would generate 14000-15000MW of electricity which would help overcome the prevailing energy crisis. 
 
He said that the CPEC energy portfolio includes coal, hydel and renewable energy projects. The present government for the first time opted for utilisation of untapped black gold to generate electricity at much cheaper rates which would support to rise in export, he added. 
 
He dispelled the impression that coal power plants would create environmental hazards, saying that Pakistan is using super critical modern technology which reduces hazardous emissions. 
 
The minister urged the participating civil service officers to put in their best efforts in serving the country. He emphasised that officers should use their best abilities in policy formulation and implementation in their respective departments. 
 
On this occasion, Additional Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Zafar Hassan told the participants that the CPEC long-term plan sets the scope for development of agriculture and other sectors under the CPEC framework. He further said that Board of Investment is preparing a comprehensive package for industries which would be furnished shortly. 
 
“The package would support to implement the plan of establishing special economic zones,” he said, adding that all the provincial governments are fully onboard to make this sector a success story. 
 
Project Director CPEC, Hassan Daud Butt gave a detailed briefing on the CPEC to participants. He apprised the participants that work in energy and infrastructure projects are being undertaken at a faster pace. He further said that the CPEC long-term plan has been prepared after an extensive consultative process with all stakeholders and it will be approved shortly.