CPEC, a reality

PRIME Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had a point when he stated that three years back no one knew about China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but today it has become a reality and a name familiar not just in Pakistan but the entire world. His remarks at CPEC summit in Karachi reflected the substantial progress made towards implementation of a project of historic importance which is destined to become a game changer for Pakistan, region and beyond.
As the incumbent government is about to complete its term, historians will always remember its contribution towards speedy implementation of a multitude of projects under the umbrella of the Corridor. A huge part of the $56 billion investment is being made in energy sector where three power plants have already been completed on a fast track basis and more are coming on line, leading to marked improvement in energy situation and reduction of generation cost. Huge infrastructure projects have also been initiated and on their completion they would accelerate the pace of socio-economic development in different regions of the country. The PSDP for 2018-19 includes 190 billion rupee allocations for CPEC and most of the money would go for development of Gwadar as 31 projects (of Gwadar) are part of the PSDP with a cost of Rs. 137 billion. This rebuts false propaganda that there is no focus on Gwadar and the Western route. According to some estimates, around $190 billion worth of merchandise is expected to pass through Gwadar annually generating huge revenue for the country. Connectivity with neighbouring country would reduce travel time and transportation costs benefiting people and promoting regional trade. There have been complaints that local workforce and material is being ignored in execution of various projects under CPEC but Secretary Planning told the participants of the Summit that two-third of the workforce is Pakistani and one-third Chinese. We hope that in months and years to come more money would be invested in creating new infrastructure and upgrading the existing one as this is the real foundation of economic development. Similarly, proper planning and execution of Special Industrial Zones on CPEC routes have the potential to bring about an economic revolution and mitigating the problem of growing unemployment.

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