| Imran Khan witnesses Pak-China agreement signing for Azad Pattan Hydropower project | Inaugurates production facility of first ever indigenously developed ventilators at NRTC at Haripur | Calls upon WHO to play role to remove COVID-19 related travel restrictions

HARIPUR/ISLAMABAD          -      Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would take Pakistan on the path of rapid progress and development since its economic future was related to the completion of various energy and infrastructure projects.

The premier stated this while was speaking after witnessing the signing of agreement with China Gezhouba for Azad Pattan hydropower project at a ceremony.

A part of CPEC, with an investment of US$ 1.5 Billion, 700.7 MW Azad Pattan will involve no fuel import, thus enabling the country to move towards cheaper and greener power while generating local job opportunities. The project is located at River Jhelum and is expected to be completed in 2026. 

The prime minister further said time would prove the long term benefits of CPEC which was based upon economic cooperation between Pakistan and China. He said Pakistan could learn a lot from China in realms of economic progress and prosperity as the country was fast emerging as world economic power. He expressed the optimism that in the future, they would learn from the Chinese experiences. The CPEC had different phases with various bright aspects for prosperity and progress, he added. Referring to the signing of agreement, the prime minister said it was part of the investment to complete a power project based upon the clean energy.

Unlike past, the project would not burden the people, he said and mentioned the previous governments’ costly projects which were made functional with imported fuel, thus increasing the cost of energy manifold and stressing the local currency.  

The prime minister said due to those policies, the power industry ran into losses impacting the consumers. 

He regretted that the country could not compete with its neighbouring countries in terms of generating the low-cost energy. He said the hydro power generation was considered as big source of clean energy which was also in line with his government’s policy of ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ and regarded as environment friendly.  It would also help stem the impacts of the global warming, he added. 

The prime minister also appreciated the energy ministry, CPEC authority, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab governments for the agreement over the project. CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, on the occasion, said the project would be completed by utilising the indigenous resources. 

He said work on CPEC projects continued with full force despite COVID-19 pandemic, generating job opportunities. He further briefed that during the last ten days, they had signed agreements for bringing worth $4 billion investment and for generation of 1,800 MW low-cost power in the country. These projects would provide jobs to about 8,000 locals.  Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, Chinese company authorities, ministers and senior officials were present during the ceremony.

Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasised that Pakistan has abundant talent to take the country to self-reliance in new technological innovation and PTI-government will strongly support any initiative to harness the potential of the youth. He said this while inaugurating the production facility of first ever indigenously developed ventilators at National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation at Haripur on Monday.

The Prime Minister stated that our approach in response to coronavirus pandemic and adopting smart lockdown while keeping the economy afloat has been widely acknowledged. He said our focus will now remain on comprehensive health reforms.

Imran Khan commended the initiative taken by NRTC and the Ministry of Science and Technology for the first ever indigenously produced ventilator. He said it is a landmark achievement for Pakistan and congratulated the entire team. Managing Director NRTC Brig Tofique Ahmed gave a detailed briefing to the Prime Minister about the history, sectors of research and development, products and services of NRTC.

The MD briefed that NRTC is indigenously providing services including communication equipment, E-policing, Electro-Medical equipment, hardware and software.  

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called upon World Health Organization to play its role in engaging member states to remove COVID-19 related travel restrictions for Pakistan and other developing countries. Talking to Director General WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom via video conference today (Monday), he also stressed the need to work towards a data driven system of non-discriminatory travel rules.

The Prime Minister observed that travel restrictions imposed by developed countries in the wake of COVID-19 can further exacerbate economic difficulties of developing countries struggling to mitigate adverse economic impact of the pandemic.

He highlighted Pakistan’s strategy of deploying scientific and data driven interventions as well as rapid upgrades of health care facilities while attempting to a maintain a balance between life and livelihood that has yielded positive results with a current downward trajectory in the spread of pandemic.

While noting progress made by Pakistan in containing the spread of virus, WHO appreciated the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan in fighting the pandemic. The Prime Minister appreciated the support extended by WHO to the international community including Pakistan to fight COVID-19.

Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction, and Development. The objective of the committee is to coordinate and facilitate government’s policy of promoting construction and development related activities, especially affordable housing projects for the low income segment of society as envisioned in the Naya Housing Programme.

Chairman Naya Pakistan Housing Development Authority will be convener of the committee.

According to the Terms of Reference of the committee, the body will assess the demand and supply situation of housing in general and affordable housing in particular. The Convener shall brief the Prime Minister twice a week on impediments, recommendations for improvement and overall progress on implementation of Prime Minister’s policy guidelines.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that provision of wheat at affordable prices and unhindered availability of the commodity is top priority of the government and directed to ensure its obstacle free inter-province movement.

He stated this while chairing a meeting to review steps taken to reduce prices of edible items in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister instructed all the provincial chief secretaries under the chairmanship of Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam to evolve a coordinated strategy to ensure sufficient stock of wheat in every province as per its needs along with uniform prices of wheat and flour in all the federating units.

He directed that farmer and common citizen should be the axis of this strategy as elements involved in profiteering and hoarding in the past had deprived the farmer of his due profit in the past, while the common citizen was compelled to buy flour at higher rates.

The Prime Minister directed to adopt a zero tolerance policy against adulteration. He also directed to take effective action against hoarders of sugar in light of the Joint Investigation Team’s report.

Briefing the meeting, Chief Secretary Punjab informed that 716 tons of flour and 16, 0008.5 tons of sugar worth over one billion rupees have been confiscated from big hoarders of sugar and dealers.

It was told that prices of sugar is less in Punjab as a result of effective measures taken by the administration in the province.

The Chief Secretary apprised the participants that the Punjab Government is going to release wheat worth 35 billion rupees, which will help end flour shortage as well slashing prices of the wheat and flour in a gradual manner. Ends

bright aspects for prosperity and progress, he added. Referring to the signing of agreement, the prime minister said it was part of the investment to complete a power project based upon the clean energy.

Unlike past, the project would not burden the people, he said and mentioned the previous governments’ costly projects which were made functional with imported fuel, thus increasing the cost of energy manifold and stressing the local currency.  

The prime minister said due to those policies, the power industry ran into losses impacting the consumers. 

He regretted that the country could not compete with its neighbouring countries in terms of generating the low-cost energy. He said the hydro power generation was considered as big source of clean energy which was also in line with his government’s policy of ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ and regarded as environment friendly.  It would also help stem the impacts of the global warming, he added. 

The prime minister also appreciated the energy ministry, CPEC authority, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab governments for the agreement over the project. CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, on the occasion, said the project would be completed by utilising the indigenous resources. 

He said work on CPEC projects continued with full force despite COVID-19 pandemic, generating job opportunities. He further briefed that during the last ten days, they had signed agreements for bringing worth $4 billion investment and for generation of 1,800 MW low-cost power in the country. These projects would provide jobs to about 8,000 locals.  Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, Chinese company authorities, ministers and senior officials were present during the ceremony.

Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan emphasised that Pakistan has abundant talent to take the country to self-reliance in new technological innovation and PTI-government will strongly support any initiative to harness the potential of the youth. He said this while inaugurating the production facility of first ever indigenously developed ventilators at National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation at Haripur on Monday.

The Prime Minister stated that our approach in response to coronavirus pandemic and adopting smart lockdown while keeping the economy afloat has been widely acknowledged. He said our focus will now remain on comprehensive health reforms.

Imran Khan commended the initiative taken by NRTC and the Ministry of Science and Technology for the first ever indigenously produced ventilator. He said it is a landmark achievement for Pakistan and congratulated the entire team. Managing Director NRTC Brig Tofique Ahmed gave a detailed briefing to the Prime Minister about the history, sectors of research and development, products and services of NRTC.

The MD briefed that NRTC is indigenously providing services including communication equipment, E-policing, Electro-Medical equipment, hardware and software.  

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called upon World Health Organization to play its role in engaging member states to remove COVID-19 related travel restrictions for Pakistan and other developing countries. Talking to Director General WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom via video conference today (Monday), he also stressed the need to work towards a data driven system of non-discriminatory travel rules.

The Prime Minister observed that travel restrictions imposed by developed countries in the wake of COVID-19 can further exacerbate economic difficulties of developing countries struggling to mitigate adverse economic impact of the pandemic.

He highlighted Pakistan’s strategy of deploying scientific and data driven interventions as well as rapid upgrades of health care facilities while attempting to a maintain a balance between life and livelihood that has yielded positive results with a current downward trajectory in the spread of pandemic.

While noting progress made by Pakistan in containing the spread of virus, WHO appreciated the steps taken by the Government of Pakistan in fighting the pandemic. The Prime Minister appreciated the support extended by WHO to the international community including Pakistan to fight COVID-19.

Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction, and Development. The objective of the committee is to coordinate and facilitate government’s policy of promoting construction and development related activities, especially affordable housing projects for the low income segment of society as envisioned in the Naya Housing Programme.

Chairman Naya Pakistan Housing Development Authority will be convener of the committee.

According to the Terms of Reference of the committee, the body will assess the demand and supply situation of housing in general and affordable housing in particular. The Convener shall brief the Prime Minister twice a week on impediments, recommendations for improvement and overall progress on implementation of Prime Minister’s policy guidelines.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that provision of wheat at affordable prices and unhindered availability of the commodity is top priority of the government and directed to ensure its obstacle free inter-province movement.

He stated this while chairing a meeting to review steps taken to reduce prices of edible items in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister instructed all the provincial chief secretaries under the chairmanship of Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam to evolve a coordinated strategy to ensure sufficient stock of wheat in every province as per its needs along with uniform prices of wheat and flour in all the federating units.

He directed that farmer and common citizen should be the axis of this strategy as elements involved in profiteering and hoarding in the past had deprived the farmer of his due profit in the past, while the common citizen was compelled to buy flour at higher rates.

The Prime Minister directed to adopt a zero tolerance policy against adulteration. He also directed to take effective action against hoarders of sugar in light of the Joint Investigation Team’s report.

Briefing the meeting, Chief Secretary Punjab informed that 716 tons of flour and 16, 0008.5 tons of sugar worth over one billion rupees have been confiscated from big hoarders of sugar and dealers.

It was told that prices of sugar is less in Punjab as a result of effective measures taken by the administration in the province.

The Chief Secretary apprised the participants that the Punjab Government is going to release wheat worth 35 billion rupees, which will help end flour shortage as well slashing prices of the wheat and flour in a gradual manner.