Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Economic Corridor route

KPCCI chief demands relief package to revive industrial activity

Wednesday, February 04, 2015 

PESHAWAR: The Business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday criticised the diversion of the route of Gwadar-Kashgar Economic Corridor to Sindh and Punjab and likened the change to financial murder of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Speaking at the ‘Guest Hour programme’ of the Peshawar Press Club, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) President Fuad Ishaq said that change in Gwardar-Kashgar Economic Corridor would badly affect the terrorism-hit people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

He said that it would also impede the revival of militancy-hit businesses and industrial activities in the province.Fuad Ishaq said the terror-shattered province could not be pulled of the economic stagnation if the government continued with its plan to make alterations in the Gwardar-Kashgar Economic Corridor.

He urged the government to reconsider the decision to save the less developed provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.Fuad Ishaq said the original project was aimed at boosting trade among Pakistan, China and Central Asian states. If executed as per its original plan, it will open new opportunities for economic, trade and industrial development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Initially, the KPCCI president said, that it was planned to construct Pakistan-China Economic Corridor between southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, connecting Balochistan, and Gwader to China. Now, he said, it has been redirected to pass through most of the cities of Sindh and Punjab under the new plan. He furthered said the new route 300 kilometers longer than the one proposed in the original plan.

Therefore, Fuad Ishaq, said the diversion of route was not acceptable to the KPCCI as it is not in the best interest of people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.He said the new plan was tantamount to deny rights to the people of these regions.

Accompanied by the chamber vice-president, Iqbal Afridi, Central president of Anjuman-i-Tajiran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sharafat Ali Mubarak, and trade union leader, Muhammad Afzal and others, the KPCCI president said they would hold a meeting with Chinese ambassador to make request to retain the previous route for the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor Project.

Fuad Ishaq said KP business community has continued businesses despite all odds under present circumstances. He urged the government to announce Hilal-e-Istaqlal for people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for their courage and forefront role in ongoing war against terrorism.

The KPCCI chief said the more than 700 industrial units had been closed due to poor law and order situation, coupled with excessive load-shedding of electricity and gas.

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