LAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said that Pakistan’s progress is linked with thriving industry, and the government has been exploring new vistas to provide avenues to the business community for economic progress.
Addressing the inaugural session of the Pakistan Auto Show at the Expo Centre here, he said the world exports are spread over 216 countries but 76 percent of Pakistan’s exports are confined to only 20 countries of the world, adding that the number needed to be enhanced.
The Prime Minister said the award of GSP+ status by the European Union (EU) is an achievement of the PML-N government, adding the facility will provide access to 90 per cent of the Pakistani products to the EU market at zero tariff.
Nawaz said the volume of Pakistani exports would be increased to 1.5 million dollars during the fiscal year 2014-15, saying the government has been working on a comprehensive strategy to expand the exports network.
The Prime Minister said a government’s task is to provide a conducive environment for the businesses to flourish. He said if industry thrives, the whole country prospers.
Nawaz Sharif said January 1972 was a black day in the economic history of the country when 32 industries were nationalized causing unprecedented loss to the economy bringing it on the verge of disaster within days.
He said the government had inherited broken economy from the previous government and every institution was on the decline, adding that the PML-N government had faced the challenges with conviction and did not lose heart at any moment.
“If we lose heart, the country’s economy will face the same situation as has been the case for the last 20 years”, Nawaz stressed.
The Prime Minister said the country was facing many challenges, including terrorism, energy crisis and unemployment, asserting that thorough commitment and hard work were required to over come these challenges.
Nawaz Sharif said the government had planned many development projects in collaboration with China and efforts were being made to complete these projects within the tenure of the government.
Regarding energy projects, the Prime Minister said 660 megawatt Port Qasim and 2,200 megawatt civil nuclear plant projects had been launched in Karachi while work had been started on Diamir-Bhasha Dam and Basu dam which would generate thousands of megawatt of electricity.
He said the fourth expansion plan of the Tarbela Dam had been inaugurated which would generate 1,410 megawatt electricity while Neelum-Jhelum transmission line was under construction and it would be completed within the next few years.
Nawaz Sharif said the Punjab government had launched two projects of 1,300 megawatt, adding the government also planned to work on 2,793 megawatt hydro power projects and 21,000MW electricity would be added to the system once all these projects were completed.
He said only 16,000MW capability was achieved during the past 65 years and the PML-N government would add 16,000MW more electricity to the national grid during the next five years. The Prime Minister said Lahore-Karachi motorway would be started this year, adding that the feasibility of the project had been completed.
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