LAHORE: The government has signed energy generation projects with China through which 22,000 megawatts (MW) of energy will be added to the system in the coming five to seven years, said Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal.
The country’s total energy production is 22,000MW, with the same amount being added to the grid in this time span, Iqbal said, while speaking at the International Marketing Congress (Marcon).
The government is focused on overcoming the development lag of the last 14 years, he said, adding that the government was turning towards China as its Foreign Direct Investment was very low in the context of the relations the two countries enjoy.
To strengthen economic cooperation, Pakistan has signed an agreement for the development of the Karakoram Highway, construction of six lane Mansehra-Islamabad and Lahore-Karachi Motorways. Through this, the country will be connected to the North-South corridor. Construction of a modern Airport in Gwadar, linking of the Gwadar deep sea port to the northern part of the country is also part of the plan. Through this, Pakistan will become a connecting bridge for the North-South and East-West regions and play a pivotal role in regional connectivity and development, Iqbal said.
Development in Gwadar and the Gadani coal generation project will start a new era of prosperity and economic development in Balochistan, said Iqbal, adding that the Thar Coal power generation project will change the fate of the people of Sindh.
Iqbal said that the government’s vision is to bring about an industrial revolution in Sindh through Thar coal as reserves there could generate electricity for the next 200 years.
Poverty, unemployment, law and order issue, hopelessness is the main tides faced by the government and we are committed to turn these tides during the next five years, he stated.
Iqbal believed that Pakistan has been run on the ‘sale paradigm’ and the time had come to shift to the ‘marketing paradigm’. The government is focused on producing and exporting items which were in line with international market requirements, Iqbal said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2014.