PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister (CM) Mahmood Khan on Saturday revealed the establishment of economic zones in the new districts of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) that are working to make the region an economic hub in the wake of China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He was presiding over a high-level meeting at the CM House in which Advisor to CM Abdul Karim, head of Special Security Unit (SSU) Sahibzada Saeed, secretary Industries and Peshawar Commissioner Shahab Ali Shah were present.
The meeting focused on mega projects in KP that include the finalisation of a concessional agreement, financial model and infrastructure development for Rashakai industrial zone, energisation of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) for electricity production and agriculture productivity, hydel project generation in Malakand and Hazara Division, provision of electricity to boost industrialisation in Malakand and Hazara Divisions, conversion of gas for electricity in Rashakai, Khitar and DI Khan economic zones, boosting trout fish production, establishment of a model village of FATA, Torkham and Ghulam Khan, custom supported terminal and other allied issues. A number of decisions were taken to put the projects into the implementation phase.
Addressing the participants, the chief minister directed to immediately give final touches to the concessional agreement leading to the finalisation of the Rashakai economic zone’s financial model. “The prerequisites required for the Rashakai economic zone should be taken care of in order to get the approval of the federal government by January 15, 2019,” he said.
“The energisation of CRBC and the projects converting the dedicated gas for electricity conversion in the allocative economic zones of Rashakai, Khatar and DIKhan should be taken care of,” he added.
“CPEC has brought along multifaceted challenges and we have the requisite level of commitment to fulfil these challenges. We would train our youth to coup with the growing challenges of producing skilled manpower,” he further added.
The chief minister said that the newly merged districts of the erstwhile FATA would get one of the economic zones under the CPEC formula and therefore the public institutions should take all necessary measures to mature it.
The hydro project station of Mataltan and others producing electricity cheaply would be provided for food processing, agro-based, livestock and tourism-related industries on a cheaper rate that will be the overall socio-economic development plan for the northern districts of the province. He also directed to identify a village to be developed as a model village of the merged districts.
The KP CM concluded by saying that peace is the basic prerequisite for economic growth. “Once peace returns to the region, it would have bright prospects of growth,’ he said while calling upon the participants to prepare themselves for growth opportunities in the wake of CPEC.