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Promotion of science and technology will turn Pakistan into great economy: Ahsan Iqbal

09 May, 2016

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LAHORE: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said that political stability, continuation of policies and promotion of science and technology will turn Pakistan into a strong economy.

He was addressing an Engineer’s Day function organised by the Institute of Engineers Pakistan (IEP) here at the Expo Centre. IEP President Ashraf Sheikh, Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Chairman Javed Saleem Qureshi and organiser Jawad Haider Gillani were prominent among the engineers who attended the function.

Iqbal said that Pakistan was in dire need of political stability and continuation of policies today and those attempting to sabotage the political stability in the country were not well-wishers of Pakistan and the Pakistani nation. He said that today Pakistan was all set to take off economically, but it needed the support and contribution of the entire nation, especially the engineering fraternity. He said that negative politics by some parties was tantamount to disrupting Pakistan’s economic revival and discouraging the foreign investors who wanted to invest here.

The federal minister said that Pakistan had a golden chance to benefit from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as investment and economic opportunities being offered by China under this project. He said that Pakistan was now on way to economic development. “We need political stability and continuity of the right set of economic policies to turn Pakistan into a bigger and vibrant economy,” he said.

The federal minister said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government was taking concrete steps for infrastructure and social development by executing important projects in all sectors, especially the energy sector.

In 2013, he said, all international institutions had been considering Pakistan as the most dangerous country for investment, but today the same institutions were saying that Pakistan was now the seventh out of the eight world’s fast developing economies. He asserted that foreign investors were now eying economic and investment opportunities in Pakistan due to the right set of economic policies as well as incentives offered by the present government.

Three years ago, he mentioned, there was 18 to 20 hours of power load shedding and the present government reduced it to six to eight hours only. He said the PML-N government took energy crisis as a challenge and mobilised all available resources to end the energy crisis.

Iqbal said the government initiated work on the mega hydel projects of Diamir-Bhasha Dam and Dasu Dam and it was exploring the Thar coal reservoirs for the first time. He said that 6600 MW coal power would be added to the system in the next 10 years. He said that transmission lines were being renovated and new ones were being installed across Pakistan to transmit the increased quantum of electricity to the grids nationwide.

Iqbal said that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves had now reached up to $21 billion from mere $10 billion, stock markets were shooting up and peace returned to Karachi and Balochistan. He said that China was now making a billions of dollars investment in Pakistan under the CPEC and investors from other countries were spending their money on various projects in Pakistan. That was a clear manifestation of their confidence in the government’s viable and economic/business-friendly policies.

The federal minister said that engineers could bring a revolution in a country and urged them to utilise their minds and energies on development of Pakistan.Iqbal distributed IEP shields to the selected engineers from various fields and institutions.AThree years ago, he mentioned, there was 18 to 20 hours of power load shedding and the present government reduced it to six to eight hours only. He said the PML-N government took energy crisis as a challenge and mobilised all available resources to end the energy crisis.

Iqbal said the government initiated work on the mega hydel projects of Diamir-Bhasha Dam and Dasu Dam and it was exploring the Thar coal reservoirs for the first time. He said that 6600 MW coal power would be added to the system in the next 10 years. He said that transmission lines were being renovated and new ones were being installed across Pakistan to transmit the increased quantum of electricity to the grids nationwide.

Iqbal said that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves had now reached up to $21 billion from mere $10 billion, stock markets were shooting up and peace returned to Karachi and Balochistan. He said that China was now making a billions of dollars investment in Pakistan under the CPEC and investors from other countries were spending their money on various projects in Pakistan. That was a clear manifestation of their confidence in the government’s viable and economic/business-friendly policies.

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