PM terms Pak-China Economic Corridor as future of the world

Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said Pakistan-China Economic Corridor will open up the underdeveloped areas of the country to a new era of economic development and prosperity by connecting maximum number of population through network of highways and railways.

The Prime Minister expressed these views while taking briefing from the officials of Ministries of Planning, Communications and Railways at Pakistan Secretariat on Thursday.

Terming the Pak-China Economic Corridor as the future of the world, the Prime Minister said that 3 Billion people, which is almost half of the world’s population, from China, South Asia, Central Asia can benefit from this economic corridor and added that it should be so designed that maximum number of people of the country benefit from this corridor.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister was briefed at length about the proposed alignments and lines from Khunjrab to Gwadar that are to be constructed as part of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor.

Putting great emphasis on ensuring quality of work and transparency, the Prime Minister directed the concerned authorities to explore more options keeping in view the factors of terrain, population and social cost of the project in the form of population dislocations while drawing the areas through which this Corridor will be passing.

The Prime Minister said that Lahore-Islamabad Motorway should be taken as a model and that its quality and standard need to be kept in view while constructing the Pak-China Economic Corridor.

Taking strong exception of the poor condition of motorways and roads in the country, the Prime Minister said that motorways, highways and road networks are national assets and their repair and maintenance must be given the top most priority.

The Prime Minister said that we should have constructed many more Motorways uptill now but lamented the fact that development of roads and motorways have been the low priority area in the country.

The Prime Minister lamented the fact that projects have never been completed on time and not completing them on time has almost become a national character. “Without setting our priorities right and without moving in the right direction, we cannot attain the goal that we have in our mind for the people of Pakistan”, said the Prime Minister.

Expressing his dissatisfaction over the briefing, the Prime Minister gave one week to the Ministry of Communications to complete their work and ordered to arrange a follow-up briefing after that.

The Prime Minister directed Ministries of Communications, Railways and Planning to keep their home work up-to-date to take the process of cooperation with China on Pak-China Economic Corridor to next level of implementation.

The Prime Minister also gave his approval in principle for the restructuring of Planning and Development Division. Under the restructuring plan, the Planning Division will get the status of a think tank for highest policy input and the Ministry of Planning and Development will be renamed as Planning, Development and Reforms Division.

Minister for Finance Mr. Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Information Mr. Pervez Rashid, Minister for Planning and Development Mr. Ahsen Iqbal, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Special assistant to the PM Mr. Tariq Fatimi and senior officials of the Ministries of Planning, Railways and Communications attended the briefing.