Chinese companies pledge to invest $5bn in Pakistan

Heads of different Chinese companies on Friday gave assurance to Prime Minister Imran Khan to invest US $5 billion in Pakistan in next three to five years.

The investment and transfer of industrial setup by Chinese companies will generate over 50,000 jobs in Pakistan the first year, the PM Office said, as a delegation comprising heads and representatives of 55 Chinese companies met the prime minister.

The Chinese corporate leaders with their businesses in multiple areas including small and medium enterprise showed keen interest to invest in Pakistan. The meeting was the follow-up of Prime Minister Khan visit to China in April where the leadership of two countries agreed to strengthen bilateral relations in key areas, particularly trade and investment.

Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the interest of Chinese companies, saying Pakistan’s diverse areas have immense potential for foreign investment. Inspired by the strategy of the Chinese leadership on peace, governance and poverty alleviation, he said the government is willing to learn from these experiences to achieve the goals of national prosperity.

Imran Khan said China always sided with Pakistan in tough times, adding that people of both countries are tied in a strong bond of friendship. On China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said the project will prove to be a game changer in exploring the true potential of bilateral trade relations. He said implementation of CPEC-related initiatives is a priority for the government, and mentioned setting up a special department at the planning ministry to oversee smooth running of projects. He said the government is focusing on the concept of ‘ease of doing business’ to promote foreign investment.

Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said China will extend full cooperation to Pakistan in promoting business activities and establishing strong trade links for the country’s economic stability.

Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar and Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood apprised the meeting of the government’s fiscal policies and progress on CPEC-related projects.

Adviser to PM on Finance Dr Hafeez Sheikh, Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Gilani and Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Shabbar Zaidi were present. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday directed the Board of Investment (BoI) chairman to harmonise the business-related laws enforced at the Centre and the provinces within a month.

Chairing a meeting of the BoI’s Board of Directors here, the prime minister also directed to ease the business-related laws in light of the board’s recommendations to remove unnecessary conditions. The meeting discussed the measures to promote local and foreign investment, remove impediments, establishment of special economic zones, facilitation of the industrial sector and the business community at the federal and provincial levels.

The BoI chairman presented to the prime minister the first draft of the proposed new strategy for 2020-2024 on investment that would be finalised in accordance with the suggestions by the board members. The prime minister was apprised that the BoI has initiated the process to bring harmony among various federal and provincial laws related to the business sector. It was told that the BoI is also mulling over the laws concerning the special economic zones to make them business friendly.

he prime minister said it is among the government’s priorities to encourage and facilitate the investors. He viewed that the disharmony among the federal and provincial laws, unnecessary regulations for the business, sadist tendency in relevant government institutions and corrupt practices have created trouble for the business community that has also stagnated the industrial development. He said the government is taking full advantage of a huge number of young population, low-cost workforce and the government’s liberal investment policies, which are providing a conducive atmosphere for the investment.

Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting to review the progress on legal and administrative matters regarding implementation of Naya Pakistan Housing Programme. The meeting was attended by Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem, Minister for Economic Affairs Hamad Azhar, Finance Advior Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Trade Advisor Abdur Razak Dawood, Chairman Board of Investment Zubair Gilani, Secretary Housing Dr Imran Zeb and Chairman Naya Pakistan Housing Authority Anwar Ali.

Highway police to recruit 10,000 personnel under CPEC

The National Highway and Motorway Police will recruit 10,000 personnel under the CPEC to ensure smooth flow of traffic on the highways and motorways, NH&MP DIG Ashfaq Ahmed said Sunday.

We are recruiting 4,000 police officers in the first phase, and other 6,000 more will be recruited in the second phase, the DIG said.

The police official praised his department for providing employment to the women. The women in our force are performing their duties efficiently, he added.

NH&MP has launched an app, Humsafar, with the aim to facilitate people travelling on highways and motorways. The app will help inform the motorists about road condition, traffic blockage alerts, alternative routes and help distressed drivers.

The DIG urged the motorists to follow traffic rules and asked motorcyclists to wear helmets to avoid serious injuries in case of road mishap.

PM Abbasi announces multibillion development package for Nowshero Feroz district

NEW JATOI (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Saturday announced a comprehensive development package worth above Rs 2.5 billion for the infrastructural uplift of Nowshero Feroz district for the provision of gas, electricity and the construction of roads.

Addressing a public gathering here, the prime minister said a whooping Rs 1.5 billion grant would be spent for provision of gas and electricity to various areas of the district and another Rs 1 billion for construction of roads.

The prime minister was accompanied by Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair, federal minister Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, minister of state Jam Kamal and other party leaders.

The announcement of the mega development projects for the district of opposition-led Sindh province prompted the already charged gathering to chant full throated slogans in support of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the prime minister.

The prime minister also announced the launch of his health insurance card scheme to support medical treatment of the poor families besides nodding to the party leaders’ demands of establishing a food processing plant, a railway stop and a grid station in the area.

The prime minister also approved a fund of Rs 200 million for a town committee on the request of a party leader in the area.

“This is the difference between the mindset selling the jobs and the one giving rights to the rightful people,” he commented criticizing the apathy of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party to the issues of the people in their province.

Prime Minister Abbasi said that the country could only achieve progress through democracy and recalled that the Charter of Democracy (CoD) signed between former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and late Benazir Bhutto had committed to bring an end to political victimization and respecting the public mandate.

Expressing his dismay over the non-adherence to the CoD, he called for carrying forward the same commitment as only democracy could guarantee the stability of the economy, provision of jobs and justice.

He told the public gathering that the government accepted the July 28 verdict of the Supreme Court and new prime minister was nominated by the party with no aspirant in the party for the slot.

Such a beautiful democratic transition put to rest all the rumors of disintegration of the party and desertion by the parliamentarians, he added.

“The decision of July 28 was indeed a great ordeal but it was also a victory of democracy,” the prime minister remarked.

He said only the PML-N and Nawaz Sharif ensured the integration of the country as he was the one who proved his agenda of public welfare and development through his actions, not merely words.

He said after 18th amendment, like other provinces, the resources for Sindh too had been doubled but unfortunately those were going to corruption showing the failure of the provincial government.

To the public demand of job opportunities, the prime minister said it was the issue across the country but the federal government was toeing a policy of giving jobs to the rightful aspirants on merit, not by minting money.

He assured the people that China Pakistan Economic Corridor would help create employment opportunities and stabilizing the national economy.

However, he reiterated that the issues would continue lingering on until the resources are duly utilized for public welfare, not the political interests.

Prime Minister Abbasi recalled that it was always the Nawaz Sharif-led government that enhanced the country’s road network as currently motorways were being constructed across Sindh.
He told the gathering that the incumbent government completed the Kachi Canal project costing Rs 28 billion that had been lingering on for the last three decades.

He said a vast stretch of the canal passed through Punjab province without giving any share in the water that had been purely dedicated to irrigate thousands of acres of land in Balochistan.

About the power generation, the prime minister said the government had produced around 10,000 megawatt during last four years against only around 20,000 megawatt generated since inception of Pakistan.

The prime minister said the federal government believed in granting due rights to the provinces as all of their issues were discussed and resolved in Council of Common Interests leaving no province to complain about the distribution of resources.

Prime Minister Abbasi said the world had now admitted that Pakistan’s economy was getting stronger against the previous notions about the country being on the verge of bankruptcy.

He said the growth rate now stood at six per cent and the development projects executed by the government would not only resolve the current problems but would also cater to the future needs of the country. The projects of gas and electricity would address the energy issue till 2030 and the road network would suffice the needs for the next 50 years.

He said consequent to the joint efforts by the government and sacrifices by the security forces, Pakistan had defeated the terrorist forces and would eliminate the residues as around 0.2 million soldiers were still engaged to fight the menace.

The prime minister said Pakistan’s security had defeated the terrorism which could not be tackled by the whole world. Recalling a terror attack on a shrine which took place in Balochistan on Thursday, the prime minister said the terrorists chose to hit such peaceful places out of their inability to target any other place.

He also asked the people to draw comparison between the peace situation in Karachi of today and four years ago and termed it a gift of the PML-N and Nawaz Sharif.

After announcing the development package, the prime minister asked the people to give their verdict for the next five years in the elections scheduled to be held after some nine months.

“The political decisions are not taken in courts and on streets. Neither they should be. This is democracy,” he remarked urging the people to compare the ongoing five-year tenure of the PML-N and the one completed by PPP earlier.

Earlier, the prime minister also lauded the political career of Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, former Sindh chief minister Arbab Ghulam Raheem and Syed Zafar Ali Shah, hoping they would continue upholding the positive political traditions in future too.