BY KASWAR KLASRA
ISLAMABAD: Early harvest projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor have created more than 85,000 direct jobs for Pakistanis, budget documents revealed on Friday.
According to budget documents (copy available with Islamabad Telegraph), government of Pakistan has proposed establishment of nine Special Economic Zones under CPEC portfolio, which will create 2.5 million job opportunities and technological transformation.
In a bid to take maximum benefit of CPEC, National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) has executed nationwide targeted skill development programme which is focused on preparing skilled human resource for local & international labor market and primarily for national mega project like China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other energy-related projects.
Since CPEC is expected to generate about 2.5 million jobs for skilled youth, NAVTTC is making all out efforts to produce a competent skilled workforce at par with international standards of the job market in various sectors of the economy, including; Construction, Hospitality Services, and Energy Sectors. Documents have revealed that more than 200,000 youth have been trained by NAVTTC under its targeted training programs during 2015 to 2019.
Under CPEC, project of Allama Iqbal Industrial Zone Faisalabad has been inaugurated. Government expects to attract investment in automobiles, value-added textiles, engineering, pharmaceuticals, food processing, chemicals, construction materials and packaging sectors. Hyundai has started a joint venture with Nishat Groups in Faisalabad.
This plant is the new production home for Hyundai’s first ‘Make in Pakistan’ product, the Porter H-100 Pickup.
China and Pakistan joint venture has launched a locally assembled 800cc passenger vehicle having annual production capacity of 15,000 units. These rapidly developing ventures with many infrastructure projects especially under China Pakistan Economic Corridor will help to boost the automobile sector as well as push up the construction related allied industries.
Various projects under CPEC were on the way to completion.
Pakistani authorities said last week that work of Western route of CPEC was in full swing and that a four-lane expressway from Hakla near Islamabad to Dera Ismail Khan in country’s Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw province is all set to complete by next year which will reduce travel time between Dera Ismail Khan and Islamabad by half (from five hours to two and half hours).
Lt-Gen (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Chairman of China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and broadcasting, told local media last month that Construction companies have completed 69 percent of work on Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan, a key leg of the Rs 212 billion ( USD 1.3 $) worth China Pakistan Economic Corridor project known as Western route of CPEC.
“Hakla (near Islamabad) to DI Khan 4 lane Motorway (292.5 KMs) construction in full swing. 69% work completed. Travel time will reduce from 5 hours to 2.5 hours,” Lt-General (R) tweeted last month.
Documents seen by this correspondent revealed that a four-lane expressway from Hakla near Islamabad to Dera Ismail Khan will reduce travel time between Dera Ismail Khan and Islamabad from five hours to two and half hours, saving travelling time.
Experts believe, the 292-km long Western route of CPEC will help usher an era of economic prosperity in some of the country’s most underdeveloped regions of Pakistan.
Experts believe, Western route is in fact, nucleus of China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
“The potential of Gwadar port will not be fully developed until the Western route of motorway from Gwadar to Chaman is constructed and thereafter, majority of Middle-Asia countries, all land locked are connected. In 14th of Jan. 2020, the first Afghanistan Transit Cargo started from Gwadar port and arrived in Chaman safely, indicate Gwadar is becoming the new gateway of Afghanistan,” Zhang Baozhong, chairman of COPHC told this correspondent.
Likewise, work on 874 MW Suki Kinari-KP Hydel Power Project was in full swing as fifty percent of total work has been done by the company.
“ CPEC is a priority. We have made sure, pandemic of Covid-19 doesn’t affect progress on projects under CPEC,” Mohammad Saad, a senior Pakistani official told this correspondent.
Official also said that work on 874 MW Suki Kinari KP Hydal Power project was in full swing.
“Unaffected by COVID-19, 50% fifty percent work on Suki Kinari Hydal Power Project has completed. At Kunhar River,with an investment of $ 1.963 billion has created 4250 jobs. Bringing cost of electricity down is top priority,” Lt-General Asim Bajwa Tweeted last month.