ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said political stability was a key to economic development in the Country, adding those involved in causing uncertainty should avoid criticism for the sake of criticism.
While addressing a seminar titled “Empowering youth for a peaceful inclusive and just Pakistan” in Islamabad, the minister said achieving high rate of growth would secure future of youth in Pakistan who contribute major portion of population in the country.
“Pakistan has achieved 5.3 per cent highest growth rate in past 10 years while some so called intellectuals sitting at televisions in different programmes are portraying negative picture of the country instead of highlighting positivity and achievements made so far in different sectors of economy,” he said.
Ahsan Iqbal said the Country’s economic growth is expected to touch 6 per cent by the end of current fiscal year as compared to 5.3 per cent growth during previous year, and added that growth target of 6.2 plus per cent could have been easily achieved provided peaceful and conducive environment prevailed in the country.
The minister said current government had prepared the agenda aiming at improving economic condition of the country and introduced the basic reforms in the economic system to ensure employment opportunities for the youth.
Talking about China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said work on mega projects was successfully underway as this project was game changer for people.
Ahsan Iqbal, who is also Minister for Planning and Development, urged the business community to capitalize on business opportunities under CPEC, adding that infrastructural improvement would encourage greenfield industrial set-ups, with focus on value additive industries that would provide real platform for competitive trade in global economy.
The minister further said Pakistan of today was different from that of 2013 when economy was badly deteriorated, local industries were almost non-existent and 18-20 hour load-shedding was order of the day.
Ahsan said that CPEC had enabled Pakistan to overcome critical bottlenecks of energy and transport infrastructure, and the stage was set for Pakistan to enter phase of industrial cooperation.
While talking about economic development, Ahsan Iqbal said Pakistan was on path to progress and would make its way to top 20 economies by year 2030.
The interior minister said that renowned rating agencies like WBC said that if Pakistan continued its growth at its current pace, it would be included in top economies of the world.
Ahsan Iqbal said that so far as many as 7000 MW electricity had been energized, which was 42 per cent of total energy resources developed during the past seventy years.
The minister said that when the government assumed power in 2013, there were total 16,000 megawatt electricity in the system, now more than 7000 had been added into it. He said within next few months 2500 to 3000 MW more electricity would be added to the national grid, bringing the total generation during the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) tenure to 10,000 megawatt, which is a record.
“People used to lit candles but we have added 10,000 MW of electricity in the national grid,” he added.