An agreement was signed on Monday between the Punjab government and Exim Bank of China at Chief Minister’s Office for the provision of funds for the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was chief guest at the ceremony. Under the agreement, Exim Bank of China will provide Rs162 billion for Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project.
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Economic Affairs Secretary Tariq Bajwa and Exim Bank Vice President Sun Ping signed the documents.
Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistani Ambassador to China Khalid Masood and Punjab Finance Minister Ayesha Ghaus Pasha were present.
Shahbaz Sharif congratulated the people of Pakistan over signing of the agreement for the provision of funds for the project. He said that after completion of the project, 0.25 million people would daily travel by the metro train. “Under the agreement, the project will be completed in 27 months. Every effort will be made for its completion within 24 months. A verbal commitment has been reached with Chinese authorities in this regard,” he said.
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He said that the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project would bring Chinese technology to Pakistan and create jobs.
Shahbaz Sharif said that China Railway and the China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) could subcontract electrical and mechanical works to Pakistani companies. “Under China Pakistan Economic Corridor agreement, China is making an investment of $46 billion in Pakistan. Out of which, $36 billion is being spent on energy projects,” he said.
Shahbaz Sharif said that the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project was the biggest project of the Punjab. “China has provided funds for the project on extremely soft terms. The agreement was signed in May last year. The reason for delay in the project start is the sit-ins of last year,” he said.
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He thanked the federal government, the Punjab chief secretary, Khawaja Ahmed Hassaan, ministers, the Pakistani ambassador to China and the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan for their cooperation.
Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar said that the steps taken under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for strengthening the economy were yielding positive results. He said international institutions had also acknowledged the fact.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said the economy was improving and the confidence of foreign investors in Pakistan had enhanced.
The Chinese Embassy charge d’affaires said the project was significant with regards to the Pak-China friendship and economic cooperation.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2015.
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