Right focus on CPEC projects


IT is heartening to see that the present government is not only giving special emphasis to multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects but also aiming to further expand its scope to other areas.
During a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development, Planning Secretary Zafar Hassan said that the Government has spent eighteen percent extra funds on CPEC-related projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP). Certainly owing to extreme national importance, these projects must be given preference over others. Recently, the government also established CPEC Authority to speed up work on the projects under the umbrella of this corridor. Truly, this platform will provide much needed impetus to multi sectoral coordination and will be instrumental in coordinating efforts for development and implementation of the future CPEC plans. Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly expressed the commitment to uplift the agriculture sector with the assistance of Chinese friends. Efforts towards that end need to be geared up as by bringing in their technology and learning from their experiences, we can put this important sector of economy on modern line and ensure not only food security but also export our food-related items abroad after proper processing. Whilst the road infrastructure and power plants have mostly been completed, it is now time to speed up work towards early establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs). More and more Chinese companies are expressing their interest for investment in different sectors of our economy and we need to engage deeply with them in order to attract them reallocate their industries to the SEZs. These economic zones are very important for us if we really are interested to revive industrialization, create thousands of new job opportunities and put the country on the path of positive growth trajectory for a sustainable period. As the CPEC Authority has been established, its main focus should be making the SEZs operationalized by bringing in investment from other countries as well.