Ahsan asks people to reject propaganda of anti-CPEC elements

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ISLAMABAD, May 22 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal Monday asked the people to reject the propaganda of anti China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) elements, saying that such elements were creating confusion among the people to halt the rapidly growing development process of the country.
“The CPEC is a special gift of God given to us through our
time tested friend China, which would give a boost to the country’s
economic development “, Ahsan Iqbal talking to media after
inaugurating Centre of Excellence Pakistan Planning and Management
Institute (PPMI) said.
He said the anti-CPEC elements had embarked upon foreign
funded agenda to sabotage progress on the mega project.
He said China was a peaceful country who had no
other agenda but to extend economic activities throughout the
region.
He said Chinese investment in the country would help enhance
industrialization in the country and consequently huge number of job
opportunities would be created for youth of the country.
To a question, the minister said in the upcoming budget
the government had increased the budget of Higher Education
Commission, and health and infrastructure sectors significantly to
facilitate especially the poor segment of the society.
He said the federal government was connecting far flung areas
of the country to mainstream through road network which would
increase economic activities of the under developed areas.
Earlier, addressing the inaugural ceremony of PPMI, Ahsan
Iqbal said Pakistan’s economy had revived and showing positive
growth over the past four years.
The economy was struggling with stagnant growth, unsustainable
fiscal and external deficits, flagging investment and crippling
energy constraints when our government assumed charge in 2013.
“Concerted efforts of our economic team have restored economic
stabilization, peace and security”, he said adding the growth rate
of 5.3 percent registered in 2016-17 was the highest in past nine
years.
The government, he said also managed to bring down the fiscal
deficit from 8 percent to 3.6 percent (July-March 2016-17).
Similarly, he said, health coverage to every citizen was one
of the top priorities of PML (N) government which was obvious from
the funds allocated to health and population welfare at Rs 56
billion in 2017-18 compared to Rs 30 billion in 2016-17 – an
increase of 87 per cent.
“For national health programme, Rs 10 billion have been kept
during 2017-18 and another Rs 9 billion are provided for new
hospital in the country”, Ahsan Iqbal said.
He maintained the federal government was more
conscious of education for every child of the nation.
He said the development outlay in education had been
tremendously increased from Rs 30 billion in 2016-17 to Rs 47
billion in 2017-18 – an increase of 57 per cent.