Country is on path of peace, prosperity: PM

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 23 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Tuesday said the country was on the path of peace and prosperity while terrorism was breathing its last.

“Peace is vital for economic progress and development,” the
Prime Minister said while addressing a gathering here at the PM Office, where he handed over cheques of Sales Tax refund to top tax payers.

He said an economic turnaround was visible in the country,
which was heading towards peace and economic stability. He said terrorists were on the run after a successful military operation and expressed the hope that there would be peace all over the country soon.

The Prime Minister also announced that the government would fully refund all outstanding Sales Tax refunds by October 15.

The Prime Minister who also handed over cheques amounting to Rs 21 billion, urged the business community to pay their part by investing in new areas, setting up industry and paying taxes to boost the pace of development in the country.

He was also appreciative of the Finance Minister for enhancing the tax revenues to Rs 3100 billion. He said inflation was on the decline, resources were increasing, the Rupee was stable and all sectors of economy were showing positive results.

He also gave a target of 6 per cent growth by year 2018 and said if given another chance, it could go up to 12 per cent.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his government has also been at the forefront in confronting the menace of terrorism and extremism and said owing to hectic efforts, the terrorists were now on the run.

The Prime Minister said if there was peace, Pakistan would
grow and develop further. He said peace would bring in foreign investment, help generate more electricity that in turn would power new industries. He said there was time that the electricity tariffs were further reduced so as to enhance productivity.

Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan was left way behind and
particularly pointed the lack of progress in the power sector over the past many decades. He mentioned the Thar Coal project and said the day was not far when the locally produced coal would help generate inexpensive electricity.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the duration of load shedding in the country has declined sharply since his government came into power. He also pointed to the transparency in all the new power projects and said a huge saving of Rs 100 billion has been made in three projects due to the efforts of his government.

He said the government was also working on generating
electricity through Liquefied Natural Gas, Solar, Hydel and Wind power to meet the energy needs. He said work on these projects was going on at a fast pace and particularly mentioned the appreciation by the Chinese companies who acknowledged that these were going on at a much faster pace as compared to similar ones in China.

He also mentioned the past pace of work on Metro services,
Orange Train, upgradation of the Pakistan Railways and the Premier Service of the Pakistan International Airlines. He said soon the PIA would capture large market share and would acquire new aircrafts. He said new routes to Beijing and Canada would also be launched at a later stage.

The Prime Minister also dwelt at length on the various road
building projects across the country and said a network of Motorways and Expressways were being built to link all major commercial, industrial and agricultural centres of the country. He said the north south connectivity under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor would usher in an era of prosperity in the country. He said work on several road projects was underway and the Manshera to Khunjerab
road would be complete in 30 months.

He said the road network was also being linked to Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa and onwards to Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics, while similar linkages were being built across
Balochistan to provide connectivity with Iran.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pointed to the overwhelming
success of his party in the general election in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and said despite the fact that he was not able to supervise the campaign; his party got an unbeatable success that reflected the trust of the people in his party’s policies.

He said it was his party’s policy to take along all political
parties on important national issues and said he would continue this policy of reconciliation. He said the PML N government had a chance to form its own government in KPK, but opted to let the PTI make the government.

The Prime Minister later handed over the cheques of refund.