- Minister says govt to include the third party in China-backed economic corridor
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar on Monday said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was not given proper attention during the tenure of the previous government.
Speaking in the National Assembly, he said that the present government had made an important decision to include the third party in CPEC. He said that the last regime did not take proper steps for the development of Gwadar, but the present government had full focus on it and develop at an oil city.
He said that not a single special economic zone had been set up under CPEC as the previous government did not take any measures in that regard. Khusro said that the present government had had taken steps to correct the budget, which was announced by the previous government. He said that the current account deficit at present was $18 billion.
He said that the power generated through hydel sources in 1985 was 62 percent of the total generation, which had today reduced to 26 percent. He said that the country’s foreign debts had reached $ 95 billion. He said that the last government during its five-year tenure presented artificial economic figures while the investment by the private sector was minimal.
During the last five years, the minister said that oil prices remained low and the last government got benefit of $32 billion, but it did not spend nothing on the people’s welfare. He said that the previous government had included 485 new schemes in the budget 2018-19 in which 343 were unapproved, which was sheer violation of planning discipline. Only Rs 55 billion were allocated for the purpose, he added.
SMALL HYDEL PROJECTS IN KP: Responding to the opposition in the budget debate, Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak informed the National Assembly that about 225 small hydel projects had been completed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and providing electricity to various areas. As many as 225 small hydel projects, promised by the Pakhtunkhwa government with the masses, have already been completed and ready to provide electricity to various areas, he said.
“I am ready to take the parliamentarians to see all these on ground,” he said. He said that through these small hydel projects, the most neglected and backward areas have been provided the electricity. Participating in the budget debate, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Qaisr Ahemd Sheikh and Abdul Shakoor criticised the government.
ELECTRIC SHOCK INCIDENTS: Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Syed Aminul Haq regarding death of two persons and arms amputation of an eight-year old boy due to electric shocks caused by falling high-tension wires in Karachi, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub informed the National Assembly that power distribution companies had been directed to take preventive measures to avoid electric shock incidents in future.
He said that all the distribution companies (DISCOS) would have to improve their obsolete distribution system. The minister told the House that an incident took place at Ahsanabad Sector-4 off the Super Highway in which both arms of eight-year-old boy were badly burnt and doctors had to amputate them in order to save his life.
According to an inquiry, he said that the K-Electric was responsible for the incident. The company would pay Rs 25,000, which was equivalent to the cost of 300 units of the electricity, each month to the affected family, which would increase by five percent every year, besides bearing the cost of the child’s treatment. The K-Electric had also paid five million rupees cash as compensation to the affected family, he added.