Country moving on path of peace, prosperity: PM

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

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

The Prime Minister 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.

He also announced that the government would fully
pay all outstanding sales tax refunds to some other vital export sectors by October 15, this year.

The Prime Minister, who also handed over a number of
cheques, out of total 6,332 amounting to Rs 21.44 billion, urged the business community to play their role by investing in new areas, setting up industry and paying taxes to hasten
the pace of development in the country.

He was also appreciative of the finance minister for
enhancing the tax revenue to Rs 3,100 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 the year
2018 and said if given another chance, it could go up to 12 per cent.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his government had also
been at the forefront in confronting the menace of terrorism and extremism and 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 and help generate more electricity that in turn would power new industries. He said the time was ripe that the electricity tariffs were further reduced so as to enhance productivity.

Nawaz 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 cheap electricity.

The Prime Minister said the duration of load shedding
in the country had 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 had 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.

The Prime Minister said three LNG projects alone would
generate 3,600 MW electricity, which would be added to
the national grid.

He said work on those projects was going on at a fast
pace and particularly mentioned the appreciation by the Chinese companies which acknowledged that those were going on at a much faster pace as compared to similar
ones in China.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the past pace of work
on Metro Bus services, Orange Train, upgradation of the Pakistan Railways and the Premier Service of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

He said soon the PIA would capture large market share
and acquire new aircraft. New routes to China and Canada would also be launched at a later stage, he added.

The Prime Minister also dwelt at length on the various
road building projects across the country and said a network of motorways and expressways was being built to link all major commercial, industrial and agricultural centers.

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 completed in 30 months.

He said the road network was also being linked to Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 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 astounding success that reflected the people’s trust in his party policies.
He said it was his party’s policy to take along all
the political parties on important national issues and he
would continue that policy of reconciliation.

He said the PML N government had a chance to form its
own government in KP, but opted to let the PTI make the government.

Earlier, the Prime Minister also inaugurated the Capital
House of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar told the gathering that
the Prime Minister had fulfilled his promise made with the exporters, regarding zero rated tax regime on five major export sectors and payment of Rs 21.44 billion sales tax refund.

He said today symbolic cheques were being distributed
among some top exporters whereas other cheques would be sent by courier service.

He said efforts were being made and next time, the
funds would be transferred online directly into the bank accounts of exporters.

The international monetary and financial institutions had
acknowledged the robust growth rate in Pakistan, which now stood among the top 10 most growing economies of the world, the minister added.

He said Pakistan was the fourth country in the
world which had parliamentarians’ tax directory.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Humayun Akhtar
Khan on the occasion said the government was committed to resolve all the issues confronted by the exporters and
business community.

He said the major economic indicators of the country had
witnessed great improvement in the last three years.

He said the history would remember Prime Minister
Nawaz Sharif for bringing about $46 billion investment to the
country in the form of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam and Federal Board of
Revenue (FBR) Chairman Nisar Muhammad Khan also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the achievements made in the economic, revenue and business sectors.