Lahore : Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that economic condition of Pakistan is far better than 2013 and economic indicators are also encouraging. He said that foreign exchange reserves have reached record level of 23 billion dollars in the history of the country.
He said although Pakistan is facing extremism, energy crisis and other serious challenges, however, hard work of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his team is yielding fruits and the country has been put on the road to progress. No doubt, it is a big achievement of Pakistan Muslim League-N government, he added.
Shahbaz Sharif said Pakistan is all of us and we have to make it developed jointly. He said that we have to move forward for achieving a commendable place for the country in the comity of the nations. He said that Pakistan will achieve its goal only through hard work and honesty. He said that lot of time has been wasted and we have to move forward by learning a lesson from our past mistakes and negligence.
The Chief Minister said unluckily, those staging sit-ins and indulging in the politics of anarchy wasted precious eight months of the nations and hampered the journey of progress. No cruelty and enmity to Pakistan can be greater than it, he added.
He said that elements staging sit-ins have again appeared in different shapes but people did not support sit-in politics earlier nor will do so in future as they have become aware of their designs. People know that those staging sit-ins are opposing development and their sit-in and protest politics is very harmful for the masses therefore, people are disassociated with elements indulging in sit-ins and protest politics.
Shahbaz Sharif said that new job opportunities can be created through strengthening of economy and increasing exports. He said that we should pledge to make the country developed by increasing exports through hard work. He expressed these views while addressing a ceremony of Export Trophy Award 2016 under the aegis of Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry at Chief Minister’s Office today. The Chief Minister distributed trophies among exporters on best exports of their products.
Addressing the ceremony Shahbaz Sharif said that today’s function is splendid and held in the honour of those great Pakistanis who were playing an important role in strengthening national economy by increasing exports. He congratulated the exporters coping with difficult challenges. He appreciated the active role of Pakistan’s premier Chamber, Lahore Chamber Of Commerce & Industry in increasing exports of the country and congratulated it on its achievements. He appreciated and congratulated great exporters who increased their exports in difficult circumstances.
He said that Chinese president had to visit Pakistan in September 2014 to sign development projects but these projects were delayed due to sit-in politics. He said that when Chinese president came to Pakistan in April next year, then projects of historic investment of 46 billion dollars were signed. He said it is first time in the country’s history that these projects were immediately implemented and round the clock work is being carried out speedily on these projects.
Shahbaz Sharif said opponents of development of the masses started propaganda that loans have been taken from China with heavy mark up. These elements did not think that due to energy crisis there is darkness in the country and industries are shifting from here resulting in loss to the country.
Shahbaz Sharif said that under CPEC, work is being done on development projects throughout the country speedily. He said that 1320 megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Plant is going to complete in a record period of 23 months and there is no example of completion of coal power plant of such capacity in the world. He said that decision was made for setting up of 3600 megawatt gas based projects in Punjab on his proposal in a meeting presided over by Prime Minister last year. Out of these, 1200 megawatt project is being set up by Punjab government through its own resources, he added.
The Chief Minister said that those companies of China and America are working on these projects as had set up Guddu Power Plant six years ago. At that time, this project was set up at a cost of nine lakh dollars per megawatt while 3600 megawatt projects are being established in Punjab for 4.5 lakh dollars per megawatt and Rs.112 billion have been saved in these projects, he added. He said that no one raised finger on transparency of these projects as no person pursued the court regarding these projects although people went to the courts regarding energy projects during rental power period.
Shahbaz Sharif said that China supported Pakistan in difficult circumstances and gave unprecedented package of investment of 46 billion dollars. He said that 46 billion dollars is a huge amount but there is no example of starting work immediately on even the agreements of 46 lakh dollars in the history of the country. He said that China has given gift of CPEC in difficult time and we should not waste this opportunity and carry out work day and night for benefitting from it and achieving a goal of progress and prosperity for the nation. He said that those staging sit-ins should mend their ways, quit negative attitude and play their due role in the construction and development of the country.
The Chief Minister said that we will work collectively for changing the course of the history of the country which will result in happiness for the nation. Now, at a time, when the country is moving on the road to progress and prosperity, it will be cruelty to the nation by creating hurdles through sit-in, which the nation will never forgive. He said that such opportunities come after centuries and if we wasted these opportunities, then perhaps no such opportunity could become available again.
Shahbaz Sharif said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, PML-N government has resolved the problem of shortage of gas and now gas supply is being provided to the industries continuously. He expressed the hope that energy crisis will be resolved and there will be abundant electricity by 2018.
Addressing the exporters, the Chief Minister said that they are great Pakistanis who have provided job opportunities to thousands of people and added that they have to change the situation of the country. He said that if they did not play their role then people will hold him as well as them accountable. He said that only those nations succeed as cope with the challenges bravely. There are examples of China, Japan, Germany, Turkey and Malaysia which, made progress through their hard work, he added.
Referring to Orange Line Metro Train, Shehbaz Sharif said that this is splendid project of provision of best and quality transport facilities to the masses. He said that those people went to the court against this project who did not even see Shalamar Garden. He said that lawyers of PTI and people of Save Lahore Movement leveled allegations of corruption in the project in the high court. He said that the court issued stay order with regard to historical heritage in its decision however, did not write even a single word regarding corruption in its decision of three hundred pages. He said if corruption of even a single penny is proved in the project, then people can held him accountable.
The Chief Minister said that we have great respect for the decision of High Court regarding Orange Line Metro Train Project, however, Punjab government will file an appeal against the decision in Supreme Court. He said that Orange Line Metro Train is the project of common man and this splendid project of public welfare will change transport culture and benefit common man.
Senior Vice President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry presented address of welcome and said that Lahore Chamber has started this process for encouraging the exporters. He said that exporters are brave and hard work people who are providing job opportunities to thousands of people and their encouragement is every necessary.
Chairman Punjab Investment Board Muzaffar Khawaja while speaking on the occasion said that increasing experts of Pakistan, creating new job opportunities and promotion of investment is mission of Punjab Board of Investment and all out steps are being taken in this regard.
Provincial Finance Minister Ayesha Ghaus Pasha while addressing the ceremony said that economic stability is impossible without increasing exports. She said that economy will be strengthened with increasing exports which will result in creation of job opportunities and benefitting common man.
She said that Punjab government and Finance Department will provide all out facilities to the exporters. Secretary Industry, office-bearers of Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry and a large number of industrialists, traders and exporters participated in the ceremony.