The federal government has proposed budget for the next fiscal year with strategies to emphasis on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as on implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs). It is highly imperative for economic development of the country, creation of employment opportunities and for poverty mitigation. The government seems to be very much profound to accelerate the implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is why the focus is on completion of motorways and highways as well as the Main Line-1 (ML-1) project. According to the proposed budget with a focus on CPEC, 17 huge projects amounting to $13 billion have been completed so far. Another 21 projects are in process of completion amounting to $21 billion. The finance Minister also revealed during budget speech that additional 26 strategic projects are in the pipeline amounting to $28 billion adding that Most of these projects are being completed on a timely basis. Some of the other mentioned priorities will be the completion of Karachi-Lahore motorway; near completion of 120-kilometre Phase-I of Havelian-Thakot and progression of work on 118km Phase-ll of Karakorum Highway. These priorities also include development of work on Zhob to Kuchlak road; improvement and widening of Chitral-Booni-Mastuj Shandur road; upgradation of Pakistan Railways existing ML-1 and establishment of Phase-l dry port near Havelian. The budget also unveiled strategy to focus on the establishment of special economic zones with export-oriented foreign direct investment from China and other countries. Regarding ML-1, improvement of North South Railways infrastructure, which costs $9.3 billion, will be completed in three packages. Package I that was started in March 2020, package II will be starting from July this year and package III will be starting in July next year. This shows the commitment of the incumbent government to quicken execution of this national project, which will benefit millions of people, safeguard better connectivity, and expand freight and passenger services.
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