Govt committed to turn around economy, develop transport connectivity: Ahsan Iqbal

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 8 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said that government under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was fully committed to turn around its economy and develop it into a stable and truly progressive country.
According to a press statement issued here, the minister expressed these views while addressing Ministerial Conference on Transport in Moscow .
He said that his presence in Moscow conference was a manifestation of the importance Pakistan attaches to various dimensions of transport and connectivity, particularly the sustainable transport.
“In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we are committed to build resilient and modern infrastructure to ensure among others, the provision of sustainable transport systems for all with improved road safety” said by the Minister .
While complementing the purpose of conference he said that this is indeed a vital achievement made possible by bringing together Key stakeholders from governments to engage in a dialogue on sustainable transport and its multiple roles and linkages supporting the achievement of sustainable development goals.
Ahsan Iqbal maintained that Pakistan is located at the intersection of three engines of growth in Asia, South Asia, China and Central Asia, which has three billion of world’s population.
Regional connectivity is one of the key pillars of Pakistan’s vision 2025 he said adding we have therefore embarked upon various infrastructure development programs to enhance the regional connectivity, improve efficiency of transport and trade logistics sector.
He said that in collaboration with China has initiated China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which he said is not a bilateral project between Pakistan and China relations but will serve as a fate changer not only for this region but for other regions and world including Middle East, Europe and Western countries .
CPEC will help overcome the energy crisis, increasing power generation capacity and fulfilling the electricity needs of the country.
Similarly, the government has taken projects for upgrading the transmission and distribution system.
Apart from focusing on energy and infrastructure, CPEC will also improve the quality of life through social and economic interventions.
It also seeks to establish special economic zones, which will create tremendous trade and economic opportunities while this also include development of airport at Gwadar and construction of eastern, western and central alignments would connect all the provinces and regions.
Federal Minister said that Pakistan was also actively pursuing road and rail connectivity projects under Central Asia Region Economic Cooperation (CAREC) framework, which aim at integrating Central Asia into a vibrant economic region with global links.
Ahsan Iqbal said that government was giving the highest priority to sustainable transport means through sound policies and harmonized standards.
The commuters of its three major cities i.e. Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Lahore have already taken a sigh of relief because of the operationalization of mass transit systems.
Similar mass transit systems are being constructed in other cities namely Karachi and Multan.
These projects will not only benefit millions of commuters and bring transportation systems of these major cities at par with the developed countries of the world but will also go along way in promoting the sustainable transport means in the country.
He apprised the conference that road safety has been included in the National Transport Policy of Pakistan.