CPEC to promote industrialisation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, hopes Khattak

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PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Sunday said that a number of projects being executed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would bring a new phase of industrialisation in the province.He was talking to a delegation of women entrepreneurs led by Shamama Arbab, President of the Women Chamber of Commerce. The chief minister said after the Chinese trip, he negotiated various projects with the Chinese state-run companies in Lahore.

He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government had successfully got included a number of mega projects in the CPEC in the province. “The western route stands integral part of the CPEC,” he added.

The chief minister said a Chinese company had agreed to develop Rashkai Industrial Zone and a Memorandum of Understanding was formally signed. The provincial government is working on the development of nine sites for industrialisation in the province, he added.

The chief minister said some of them would become directly part of the CPEC Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) and the rest would be showcased in the roadshow in March at Beijing in China.

Pervez Khattak said the KP, particularly Peshawar, would become a commercial and trade centre and the women entrepreneurs should play role in the new scheme of things.He asked the women entrepreneurs to coordinate with Economic Zones Development and Management Company. The government wanted the province to develop and progress commercially, stressed the chief minister. Pervez Khattak said it was important to understand the development associated with the CPEC.

He said the PTI government succeeded on multiple fronts in achieving rights of the province. The chief minister said western route became part of the CPEC. Another route from Gilgit connecting Shandur, Chitral towards Chakdara has been included in the CPEC.

The federal government agreed to upgrade Indus Highway and a railway track would be laid from Peshawar to Dera Ismail Khan. N-55 would link Kohat Jhand as reflected in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

In addition two other routes were identified that included Gilgit to Bisham, Shangla, Swabi, Mardan and the second is Gilgit, Bisham, Shangla, Khawazakhela, Swat, Chakdarra, Peshawar, Kohat, Dera Ismail Khan, Zhob, Gwadar, he added.

The chief minister said a railways track from Gilgit to Shandur, Swat to Dargai had been proposed. In the first phase JCC agreed to certain industrial zones that included Rashkai, Hattar, DI Khan and one among them would be included in the CPEC.Work on the economic zone at DI Khan and Karak is going on and a Marble City in Mohmand Agency has been identified.

A total of 9 sites have been identified for industrialization in the province which included Swat, Malakand, Hattar, Karak, DI Khan, Mohmand Agency, Kohat, Jalozai, Rashakai etc.A Chinese company had signed an MoU for the development of Rashakai Industrial Zone which also included relocation of Chinese industries because of cheap labour etc, he added.

The chief minister said his government had given one-window operation for rapid industrialisation in the province. We have also offered Chinese companies to develop small hydel powers generation and running of the other projects, he added.

Pervez Khattak said the provincial government was working on producing skilled manpower to meet the growing needs of industrialisation in the backdrop of the CPEC.The chief minister gave a cheque for Rs10 million to women entrepreneurs.