APP21-28 LAHORE: November 28 – Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal addressing at a seminar on “CPEC” Impact on Economy of Pakistan at Punjab University. APP photo by Zahid Chaudhry

LAHORE, Nov 28 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said that political stability was need of the hour to gain benefits and complete the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

Delivering a lecture on “CPEC, its Opportunities, Issues and Priorities” managed jointly by Study Group of the Punjab University and Mir Khalilur Rehman Memorial Society at PU city campus, he appreciated the efforts of the PU for initiating the work of supply of knowledge skill.

He said eduction was one of the priorities of the present government as the PML-N government after coming into power had raised the grant of the Higher Education Commission from Rs 100 billion to 220 billion. The 21st century was the century of economic development, he added.

The minister said that CEPC was not only a game changer but also a fate changer that consisted of four points vision including Gawader development into a model smart port city, energy sector, infrastructure development and establishment of industrial zones.

He said that $35 billion were being consumed on energy projects including producing electricity from coals. He informed that under the CPEC projects railway track and roads were being upgraded which would decrease the travelling distance between Karachi and Peshawar.

Describing the details of the fourth point of the CPEC project vision, he said that industrial zones would be set up in the country which would benefit the people.

He, acknowledging the role of Chinese said that China has always played a role of friend in need is friend indeed. He said that through CPEC projects peoples from far flung areas of the country would be empowered economically that would end the monopoly of the usurpers.

He dispelled the impression of any discrimination among provinces and said that all the provinces would equally get benefit from that $51 billion CPEC projects which would increase two to three percent of the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) of the country in future.

He reiterated Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s vision of peaceful environment with all neighbours to make the whole region
economically developed and stable.

The minister urged the students to work hard and better to meet the challenges of the emerging economic era in the world. PU VC Mujahid Kamran, Lord Nazir, prominent journalists including Muno Bhai,Sohail Warriach and CPEC expert Dr.Hafiz Zafar Ahmed were also among those who spoke on the occasion.