A small group of people plundered national wealth in the past: PM

Published: October 21, 2019
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HUB: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that in past a ruling clique plundered the national wealth and filled their pockets. “Pakistan has been deprived of billions of dollars due to corruption,” he said while addressing the inauguration ceremony of 1,320 megawatt power plant in Hub on Monday.

He stressed that the country could not attract investment until it was purged of corruption. Transparent governance and business-friendly policies of the incumbent government are attracting international firms to invest in multiple sectors of Pakistan.

The prime minister said that clean governance and business-friendly policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government were attracting multinational corporations from across the world to invest in various sectors of Pakistan.

“Many companies, including an Australian mining giant, are interested in investing in Pakistan,” he said. “Apart from mineral resources, Balochistan is also blessed with huge fisheries resources and its development can help earn valuable foreign exchange.”

To attract the foreign investment, the prime minister noted that red-tapism used to impede the investors in the past but now the current government is making dedicated efforts toward ease of doing business.

He hailed the inauguration of the power project – the first one to be executed in partnership between Pakistani and Chinese firms. He said the government desired to see more of such joint projects in the future.

He asked the local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to collaborate with the Chinese firms interested in investing in Pakistan and assured that the government would fully assist and facilitate such joint ventures.

He said the government desired to promote power generation through indigenous resources, stressing that the country has hydro-power potential of around 50,000 MW. He also called for exploiting the gas and coal resources, which could reduce import of oil to fuel power plants.

Referring to the immense potential of mining and investment in Balochistan, he asked Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal to develop special economic zones in Lasbella to facilitate the Chinese firms desiring to relocate to Pakistan.

“The government will facilitate joint collaboration between Pakistani and Chinese businesses in various sectors,” he said. The prime minister suggested firms to utilise at least 20% coal from Thar Coal to save Pakistan’s forex reserves by reducing oil import bill.

Imran said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a golden opportunity for Pakistan. Previously, CPEC had been limited to roads and power projects but now it is being expanded to fisheries and agriculture to enhance the productivity.

Imran said the government was moving towards the second phase of CPEC, and it had established the CPEC authority to facilitate the projects, adding that during his recent trip to Beijing, the Chinese leadership had reiterated their commitment to fast-tracking CPEC projects.

The ceremony was also attended by Water Resources Minister Faisal Vawda, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing and senior officials of the Chinese contractor firm.

(With additional input from APP)

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