CPEC is an important pillar of Pakistan’s economic structure: Khusro

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Islamabad
Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiyar said that Pakistan is committed to take China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to new heights and the PTI Government has increased its volume and scope.
Addressing a news conference here on Friday, he said the Pakistan side will take up issues pertaining to ML-I, development of coastal areas, Gwadar Master Plan, and other aspects of CPEC cooperation during the upcoming meeting of Joint Coordination Committee of CPEC to be held on Wednesday. Regarding ML-1, the Minister said this project is being completed at a cost of eight to nine billion dollars and it will help improve the country’s railways system as well as revamp economy. He said industrial cooperation is the future of CPEC and Pakistan and China has formed a forum of industrialists from both the countries and efforts will be made to operationalize this forum. The Minister said Western Corridor of CPEC will be discussed in the meeting and hopefully Islamabad-Quetta link be completed in next three years. He said special incentives for Chinese and other investors to attract foreign investment, ways and means to operationalization of Pakistan Steel Mills to meet country’s steel requirements will be deliberated in the committee meeting.
He said oil and gas, mineral development, housing, tourism and new long term plan will also be discussed.
Speaking on the occasion, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said there will be no railway crossing on 1872 kilometer long ML-1 track as the entire route will be fenced. He said the train will run at a speed of 160 kilometers per hour after ML-1’s completion.
Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan said invest in energy sector will be discussed in order to enhance the share of renewable sources in the energy mix to 30 percent by 2030. He said using renewable sources of energy will help bring down bill of imported fuel.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nadeem Babar said government is going to auction more than thirty oil and gas blocks in next twelve months.
He said roadshows in this regard have been held in Europe, Russia and Middle East to attract investors to invest in oil and gas blocks.
He said during the JCC, Chinese side will be asked to invest in up-gradation of oil refineries as well as construction of new ones to increase refining capacity of the country.
Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said all economic indicators of the country are moving in positive direction due to prudent decisions made by incumbent government.

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