CPEC and Rs 730 bln fund to transform Balochistan developed areas: PM
by Shafqat Ali
GWADAR, July 6 (Gwadar Pro) – Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday afternoon that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), together with Pakistani government’s funding of Rs 730 billion would transform the Balochistan province into one of the most developed parts of Pakistan.
Addressing a ceremony in Gwadar, he said several projects under CPEC will bring development and prosperity to the province.
“Pakistan is poised to become a great regional pivot as it had been a role model for development in 60s,” he said.
The Prime Minister said practical work on development projects had begun in Gwadar to uplift the living standard of the local people.
He said these projects are being established by utilizing 2,200 acres of land and the government is initiating one-window operation facility at Gwadar to facilitate foreign investors in these projects.
PM Khan said that after completion of the International Airport, Gwadar will directly connect with the world.
“We have to focus on enhancing exports, which is vital for Pakistan's economic sovereignty. The issues of water, electricity and gas to Gwadar will be addressed on priority basis. A 500-bed hospital will provide modern health facilities to the locals,” he added.
Imran Khan said connectivity is imperative for the development of Balochistan and Rs 730 billion will be spent on infrastructure for this purpose. He said that Gwadar will become focal point for Pakistan and will be beneficial for the people of the Balochistan.
He said the government has initiated several mega projects for the welfare of the common people, including Ehsaas (care) Program and Housing Scheme for low-income segments. He said Pakistan should also get benefit of the geographical importance and Chinese experience.
The PM said works on energy and water supplies to the city were underway, and this would help Gwadar grow. “These projects were moving at a slow pace before but now they are developing at a better pace,” he added.
The premier, elaborating on why Pakistan should expedite CPEC and remove hurdles in businesses related to it, said Chinese exporters were aiming to install such industries that would help Pakistan increase its exports.
“Unfortunately, we have never focused on exports. And if we do, it will help bring in dollars,” he said, adding that Pakistan has always been at the mercy of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as export-led growth.
The PM thanked the government of China for launching water and solar projects in Balochsitan, particularly Gwadar. “Pakistan can benefit from its strategic location and also from the expertise of its friend China which is the becoming an economic power in the region,” he said.
He also mentioned the technical education provided by China to the locals of Gwadar, which he said, would prove greatly helpful as the foreign investment grew in future.
“Gwadar will connect with Central Asia. We have already signed contracts with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan,” he said.
The Prime Minister said countries in the region had expressed interest in reaping the benefits offered by the Gwadar port.