Cabinet approves special CPEC visa for Chinese investors

Fawad says committee to review ban on TLP; Asad says economy to move from stability to development

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has given approval for a special China-Pakistan Economic Corridor business visa to facilitate Chinese investors in the country.

Briefing the media persons along with Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar about the decisions taken in the cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair on Tuesday, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhary said that “this will enable Chinese investors to get their visas within 48 hours and get the security clearance in 30 days”.

He said that the cabinet appreciated the economic team for steering the country towards stability despite the challenge posed by Covid-19 and the flawed policies of previous regimes.

Fawad said that overseas voters are an important agenda of the government’s electoral reforms. The Election Commission, he said, should take immediate steps to bring them into the electoral process.

He also said that the electronic voting machine (EVM) is being appreciated by different segments of society, including bar associations. He added that Rawalpindi Bar Council has demanded EVM for their upcoming elections.

The minister said that the cabinet also appreciated improvement in the relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia as it will be beneficial for Muslim Ummah. The prime minister appreciated Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for successfully raising the Palestine issue at international forums, he added.

The minister said that the cabinet accorded approval to cantonment board elections and directed the Ministry of Defence to make all arrangements in this regard.

He said that the forum approved the formation of a committee to review the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s application for lifting the ban on it. After reviewing the application, the committee will present its recommendations to the cabinet.

The cabinet also gave approval to a new Board of Directors of PTV. The secretary information will be the chairperson of the PTV’s new board while director-general Radio Pakistan has also been included in its members.

While giving details of positive economic indicators, Minister for Planning Asad Umar said that the prime minister’s policy of protecting lives and livelihood during Covid-19 has saved the economy from an expected loss contrary to the neighbouring economies.

He said, according to the figures provided by the National Accounts Committee, “We are expecting more than 3.5 per cent growth rate”.

Counting on factors that contributed positively to the country’s economy, Asad said that the prime minister’s Ehsas Programme and incentivised policies for the construction sector played a major role in putting the country’s economy on the right track.

This year, he said, the country witnessed record production of wheat, sugar, rice and maize that helped increase wholesale trade, which is directly linked to positive growth of the economy.

The minister said that loans received by private sectors for direct investment have increased by 126 percent that boosted small enterprises while large scale manufacturing recorded 9 per cent growth. He expressed hope that with “all these indicators the country’s economy will move from stability to development”.