Corruption, incompetency damaged Pakistan massively: Shehbaz

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LAHORE, April 3 (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said on Monday that corruption, incompetency and non-professional aptitude have damaged the country massively.
Addressing inaugural session of Punjab Economic Forum-2017 at a local
hotel, he added that everyone knows about the elites’ heinous role played with Pakistan during last 70 years, and three marshal laws devastated the country, while politicians had also committed mistakes in the past. However, it is of no use to cry over spilt milk as we should learn lesson from the past mistakes and move forward instead of creating more distress for already worried nation, he added.
Shehbaz Sharif stressed the need for working together by adopting the
principles of honesty, dedication and handwork to provide relief to people and to make Pakistan stable on all counts.
Chief Minister congratulated Provincial Minister for Planning and
Development and his team and lauded their efforts for arranging economic forum to discuss opportunities, economic challenges and the way forward for formation of economic policies and betterment of departments.
He said that important steps will be taken for economic growth in the
light of economists’ experiences and recommendations.
Before 1979, he mentioned, Pakistan’s per capital income was higher than China, but today, China has become world’s biggest economic power and even Bangladesh is also ahead of us, however, Pakistan can still move ahead despite all the happenings in the past, because Pakistani nation is very talented, hardworking, brave and determined and we have qualified professionals in every field.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, he said, power generation projects are being executed speedily and transparently to give an end to energy crisis.
Federal and provincial government are installing 3600 megawatt gas-based projects from their own resources and Rs 112 billion of the poor nation have been saved in these projects. Due to our transparent tendering process, he added, NEPRA has also forced to reduce tariff of gas-based projects from 10.5 cent to 6.5 cent per unit which will benefit industry, agriculture, trade and consumers of the country.
Shehbaz Sharif said that Rs 80 billion of the nation have also been
saved in the Orange Line Metro Train project, adding that there is no bidding process according to law in government to government (G2G) agreement but tendering of Orange Line G2G project was made first time in 70 years history of the country.
According to Para rules, he said, a contract is given to the company
offering low bid but Punjab government further reduced its cost from 2.12 billion dollars to 1.46 billion dollars through negotiations with respective Chinese company.
A hefty amount of Rs 80 billion has also been saved from corruption
in Saaf Pani Programme as its estimated cost was deliberately increased, he said and asserted that provision of potable water to people is a great challenge and government is ensuring provision of drinking water to them.
He said that cost of Neelam Jhelum Power Project has increased from
80 million dollar to five billion dollars but the project is still incomplete, similarly, 30 billion dollar Nandipur Power Project was set up at a cost of 54 billion dollars.
He added that responsible of these mishaps are neither Harries of Mehran valleys nor poor people of Punjab, Sindh and KPK. On one side, he said, is ‘Transparent Pakistan’ of today while on the other hand is ‘Corrupt Pakistan’ of the past, citing that elite of the country is responsible for harming national exchequer and they looted national resources ruthlessly and hollowed the foundation of the country through corruption.
He said that in 2007, when elections were near then dictator Pervez
Musharraf, raising slogan of ‘Pakistan First’ deceived the nation by
laying the foundation stone of 4000MW Diamir-Basha Dam without acquiring the land thus neglecting the importance of the project.
But the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has now
purchased land for this project by paying Rs 66 billion, he added.
During the dictator era, he mentioned, the contract of exploring iron
ore reserves of Chiniot was given to a fake company without tendering
which had no relevant experience, and the dictator tried to give treasure of billion and trillion of rupees hidden in the earth to his cronies and the then cronies of Musharraf in Punjab handed over this project to a fake company.
Shehbaz Sharif said, “When we came into power, we took it into the court of law and won the case after a struggle of three years and the
High Court in its decision wrote to hand over the responsible to the NAB. We have got 100 percent estimate of Chiniot reserves and billions of
rupees annually can be earned through export without utilizing iron ore.” He further mentioned that there are Reko Diq reserves in Balochistan but unfortunately, people of Pakistan and even of Balochistan did not get benefit of even a penny from these reserves as this project was also
ruined through corruption, inefficiency and negligence.
Chief Minister was of the view that proper human resource is necessary for successful completion of projects and without it, no project can be executed in real sense. He said that today’s economic forum is of
paramount importance and from this platform solid suggestions and recommendations will come fore for making country economically strong, standing Pakistan on its own feet, breaking begging bowl and prosperity
of the people, in the light of which, steps will be taken for improving
the economy.
On this occasion, former Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, Dr.Ishrat
Hussain said that he is greatly impressed by Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif due
to his economic policies and reforms programme. He said that only strong political and economic institutions can speed up the process of development.
In his welcome address, Provincial Minister for Planning & Development
Malik Nadeem Kamran termed Punjab Economic Forum as a milestone with regard to socio-economic development of the province.
Punjab P&D Chairman Jehanzeb Khan and renowned economist Prof. Dr.
Sohail Jehangir also spoke on the occasion. Provincial Ministers, MNAs, MPAs, researchers, industrialists, traders, and students of economics attended the forum.