MULTI billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)has entered a very important phase which entails immense economic benefits for Pakistan.
Sunday saw the arrival of equipment and machinery for the setting up of a Steel Mill in Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
This steel mill will be set up by a Chinese company called Century Steel with an investment of $240 million. The mill would produce about 1.5 million tonnes of steel per year.
During the construction phase of the project over 600 Pakistanis would get jobs while in the second phase more than 1,000 people would be provided employment.
This indeed is the beginning of industrialization in the country and Rashakai is all set to become a success story as reportedly more than two thousand investors have already shown their interest in establishing industrial units there.
In addition, the CRBC, a Chinese firm, has entered into an agreement with Pakistan for attracting foreign investment for development and marketing of the Rashakai economic zone. This implies that more investment in the SEZ is in the offing.
Now it is the responsibility of the authorities concerned especially the CPEC Authority to fully facilitate the investors in early realization of these industrial units which, on the one hand, will provide job opportunities in abundance to the youth whilst, on the other, will enhance the country’s exports and revenues.
Rashakai SEZ alone is expected to generate more than two hundred thousand jobs and it would contribute 2.30 per cent to the provincial GDP.
It is also important that the government accelerates work on other SEZs by removing all the hurdles in their way.
We will rather suggest that Prime Minister Imran Khan personally monitor the progress on the SEZs by holding weekly meetings just like he is currently doing on Ravi city and Naya Pakistan Housing Program.
One project that is facing long delays under the CPEC is the upgradation of the ML-1.
The CPEC Authority and Ministry of Railways should immediately sit with the Chinese friends to get the project started.
Simultaneous progress on all the CPEC projects will indeed change the whole economic landscape of the country and take it towards self-reliance.