ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said Pakistan had now embarked on the path of high growth economy and was heading towards a bright future for its people.
Addressing the international investors conference here, the Prime Minister said his government had achieved most of the objectives in the past two and a half years as was evident from the overwhelming support it got in the recently concluded local bodies polls, where the people endorsed the PML-N’s policies.
The Prime Minister gave an overview of the achievements of his government, since he took over and said not only the country’s economy was on a strong footing, but also it was successfully meeting the challenge of extremism, terrorism and the chronic energy shortages.
He said difficult decisions on vital national matters were now being taken with consensus and the country’s democratic institutions would continue to get stronger in the times ahead.
Sharif said huge investment was pouring in the energy sector and several new projects were in the pipeline that would be commissioned soon.
The prime minister mentioned the projects in solar, hydel, coal and nuclear, besides the three new power generation plants that would be run with imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
He also mentioned the Tarbela upgradation project, besides the ongoing work on Dasu dam and said country’s energy sector was growing robust with each passing day.
He said the projects would enable the country to meet its energy needs for the next decade and expressed his optimism that loadshedding would end by the year 2017.
The government, he said, also settled the Rs 40 billion circular debt issue soon after coming into power.
Nawaz Shaif said the government had also increased the well-head price for the oil and gas exploratory companies, while new terminals for LNG have been set up.
He mentioned the inking of the Rs two billion agreement with Russia for the construction of the North South gas pipeline that would carry 1.2 million cubic feet of gas daily.
He said another gas line was being built from Gwadar to Nawabshah and more gas was being imported to meet the requirements of country’s vibrant industrial sectors.
The Prime Minister said the government had also slashed its expenses by 30 per cent, while the fiscal deficit too had been brought down from 8.8 per cent to around 5 per cent, inflation was less than 2 per cent and interest rates were at their unprecedented lowest levels.
Prime Minister Sharif said it was just the beginning and the nation had embarked on a path of progress and prosperity.
He said the operation Zarb-e-Azb was progressing successfully and reiterated his resolve to rid the country of the cancer of extremism and terrorism.
He said Pakistan desired good neighbourly relations and wanted increased regional trade and investment. In this regard, he also mentioned the CASA 1000 and TAPI gas projects.
The Prime Minister said the goal of his government was to have a progressive society where its citizens get quality healthcare, education and all facilities of life. He said Pakistani nation was forward looking and enterprising and would soon attain a higher place in the comity of nations.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the Rs 100 billion social sector development, under which several programs were being run for the empowerment of the youth and particularly the woman.
He spoke about the loans available to the needy students for higher education and for starting their own business ventures.
He said the country would soon have a highly improved road linkage, enabling people to drive in few hours from Lahore to Karachi, ample availability of electricity and gas, high speed internet, efficient goods transportation systems.
He said 25 industrial zones would be established along the three routes of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and pointed that China was investing US 46 billion in various sectors of the country.
The conference was attended by prominent businessmen and corporate leaders.