ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday said that all provinces were fully cooperating in efforts to establish the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
While addressing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Logistic International Forum organized by National Logistic Cell (NLC) in Islamabad, the minister said that nine SEZs would be established in all provinces under CPEC and the ownership of the SEZs had been given to the provinces.
The minister said that with the establishment of road and railway network in the country under CPEC, logistic and transport sector would be promoted.
“Work on Peshawar-Karachi Motorway is in progress on full pace and hopefully it would be completed by end of next year”, he said adding after completion of ML-1 railway track from Peshawar to Karachi, the speed of railways would be increased from 80 to 180 km per hour.
Moreover, he said that the relocation of Chinese industry in Pakistan would help create a huge number of jobs for local people.
“After fixing of infrastructure under CPEC, Chinese industrialists plan to take advantage of low cost labour in Pakistan by relocating their industries in Special Economic Zones being constructed under CPEC, as they are unable to compete with Pakistan in terms of labour cost”, he said.
Ahsan Iqbal said that it was impossible for the Chinese industrialists to bring the labour along with their industries as it would increase cost of their business.
The federal minister said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had the honour to invest heavily in energy sector which would result in addition of 10,000 MW electricity in the national grid by May 2018. He said the government was also upgrading the transmission lines in order to carry extra load of electricity from source to the consumers.
The minister said that under master plan of CPEC, Gwadar city would be developed as an international port city at par with Singapore and Hong Kong port city within 20 to 30 years.
Ahsan Iqbal said that the idea of Gwadar Port city was initiated by the PML-N government in 1990s while due to political instability, the idea remained stuck and could not be materialized until 2013 when the current government handed over the work of port city to China under CPEC.