ISLAMABAD, Dec 17 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday stressed the need for development of human resources aimed at putting the country on the path of progress as well as bringing it among the comity of developed nations.

Addressing the inaugural session of 31st annual general meeting and conference organized by Pakistan Society of Development Economic here, he said,”No country can prosper without a sizeable investment in its human resource development.”

The Minister pointed out that the human resource was ignored in the past and as a result the country could not sustain its economic growth.

He said, the present government had allocated huge funds for primary to higher level education which would help improve the country’s economic situation.

While, commenting on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said, this vital project would equally benefit all the provinces in addition to changing the fate of over three billion people living in the region.

Ahsan Iqbal said, the CPEC initiative would connect the entire region and benefit the other countries of the region.

He said, the CPEC would also inter link the region with modern infrastructure to change the fate of under developed and vulnerable half of population residing in the region.

“The CPEC has transformational impact on the regional prosperity and it is a unique project as all governments and political parties had equally contributed in the projects,” he said.

While further highlighting the CPEC, he said, the Corridor was a fusion of multiple developments in the global, regional, bilateral and domestic contexts.

The ultimate objective was peace, prosperity and well being of the people of the two countries, the region and the world, he remarked.

About Pakistan’s Vision 2025, he said, “We seek to position ourselves from a lower middle income country to high middle income country.”

“In order to achieve this goal and create employment opportunities for new entrants into the labor force, it aims to target a growth rate of 8 percent between 2018 and 2025 with single digit inflation,” he added.

He further said, “Vision 2025 seeks to increase exports, tax-GDP ratio, investment through domestic saving and foreign saving in the long run.”

The Minister said, in the history of the country, only one democratic government had completed its term which country remained under military rule for about 35- year.

He said, with continuation of democracy and strengthening of democratic institution, the country would continue its journey towards progress and development.

About the development of energy sector, he informed, the Diamir Bhasha Dam was the most important project of the country and it was likely to be part of second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Ahsan Iqbal said, the project was life and death for Pakistan as it  would not only generate 4500 MW of electricity but would also serve as a huge water reservoir for the country.

He said, the land acquisition process for the project had been finalized with a cost of Rs 104 billion and by next year the government would start construction work on the project.

The Minister informed, a number of energy project were on advance stage of completion and most of them would be completed by end 2017 or early 2018 so there would be no energy shortage by 2018.

He said with the cooperation of China, a South-West transmission line project was also on going as the country’s existing transmission system was not capable to bear load of electricity more than 16,000 MW.

Ahsan Iqbal said, the country’s economy was in a take-off position as its macro economic indicators are improving which had also been endorsed by the world’s renowned financial institution.

He said now the leadership of democratic powers, military, judiciary and civil society were on same page due to which big successes were being achieved in war against terror.

He said now the country was moving towards democratically stable country which would bring consistency in its policies.

President, Vice Chancellor, PIDE, Asad Zaman in his opening remarks welcomed the Minister and briefed the audience about the institution and its achievements.