Arif Qureshi | August 25,2016
Islamabad: Federal Minister Planning, Development and Reform Prof Ahsan Iqbal said that Pak China Economic Corridor (CPEC) will boost economic activity in the entire region and more than three billion people of this region will benefit from the $46 billion CPEC project. He said CPEC is not just a road network rather it should be seen development cooperation in the global, regional, bilateral contexts which will be a confidence booster to attract more foreign investment not only from China but rest of the region. Ahsan Iqbal expressed this in a briefing with foreign media here at Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform in Islamabad on Thursday.
Highlighting the key features of some major projects, Ahsan Iqbal said CPEC had made tremendous progress during last two years and we hope that we will be able to connect Gwadar with Quetta by the end of this year. He briefed that Gwadar Airport & Eastbay Expressway in Gwadar is in advanced stages and within coming months ground breaking ceremony will be held of these landmark projects.
Federal Minister Planning, Development and Reform Prof Ahsan Iqbal also chaired 59th meeting of the National Logistic Board (NLB) which was held here at Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. Prof Ahsan Iqbal said, National Logistic Cell (NLC) should develop logistics master plan for CPEC to extract maximum benefits from this mega project.
The meeting was attended by members of the apex logistics body and members of board. Quarter Master General Pakistan Army / Officers Incharge of NLC Lt. General Javed Mahmood Bukhari and Director General NLC Major General Mustaq Ahmed Faisal briefed the participants about the operational, administrative and financial matters with special reference to the accomplished tasks and future development plans of NLC .The board after thorough deliberations approved NLC ‘s budget for Financial year 2016/17.
Minister said that NLC was playing vital role of the logistics and strategic crisis management arm of the government. He said that CPEC would open new avenues of growth for multiple sectors including the logistics industry for which short, medium and long term planning was of vital importance. Ahsan Iqbal said that NLC should also align itself with the development portfolio of the country by anticipating the future requirement of the country in logistic sector.
He directed the organization to explore transportation opportunities on western rout of CPEC especially in Gwadar, Dera Ismail Khan, Ratodero and Sukkar junctions. NLC should undertake the study to explore potential avenues on this corridor for its future growth, he added. He also suggested that there is need to establish some iconic buildings in Islamabad like CPEC tower to attract people for business. Minister said that Pakistan side of Khunjerab need to have Pakistan structure with beautiful designed building for tourism and business.
Ahsan Iqbal suggested that Ministry of Law should formulate a database about all the public sector projects which are facing delay due to litigations and then take them to the judiciary to avoid financial loss. He directed that road, railway, ship and NLC should formulate integrated plan to complement each other instead of going into competition.
The Writer is Editor Daily Online News Paper “The Fortress” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org[With inputs of APP]