Work on CPEC to continue at same pace during next govt: Miftah


ISLAMABAD, May 24 (DNA): Finance Minister Miftah Ismail says there is a national consensus on China Pakistan Economic Corridor project and all political parties are owning it being in the best national interest.He was addressing a programme titled “Investment Opportunities with CPEC,” organized by Board of Investment in Islamabad.

“Our government is ending in a week’s time, and whosoever (either we or somebody else) comes to the new government will continue the policies and agenda set by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) government for the mega project, because there is a national consensus on CPEC and all political parties are owning this project as part of national interest,” he said.

The minister said that the PML-N government had successfully materialized CPEC as most of the early harvest projects of the corridor were now completed or in the final stage.

However, he made it clear that the current government did not work on the mega project for its political purposes but in greater national interest.

He said during the current government’s tenure, the Pakistan’s economy had turned around and its growth rate jumped from mere 3 percent in 2013 to 5.8 percent this year and it will further increase to 6.2 percent in the year to come. He said inflation remained controlled under 4 percent, and electricity problem had also been resolved to a great extent after addition of 10,000 MW to the national grid.

He said projects of 25,000 MW additional electricity were in the pipeline, which would be completed within 5 years.

“Our exports are increasing at a much faster pace and Pakistan had now become the world’s 8th fastest export growing country in the world,” he said adding that the increasing exports and declining imports would help reduce current account deficit burden and the whole system would be streamlined in next few months.

“We are leaving Pakistan economy in a much better shape after removing two major impediments-energy and terrorism.”

“We have broken the back of terrorists and peace is prevailing across the country including Karachi and Balochistan,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, Chairman BOI, Naeem Zamindar said that Board had introduced 75 major reforms to improve ease of doing business in Pakistan which will help in attracting more Foreign Direct Investment in the country.

Appreciating the role of local private companies he said the private sector was playing incredible role in the country’s economy.

Secretary Planning, Development and Reforms, Shoaib Siddiqui said there was still a perception problem regarding Pakistan. He stressed that the international investors should be conveyed the true picture of Pakistan, which was now becoming more and more attractive place for the foreign investors due to higher rate of returns.

He said the real estate sector and the industrial sectors were the real dividend of Pakistan.

Secretary BOI, Smaira Nazir Siddiqui also gave detailed presentation on the mega CPEC project.=DNA