ISLAMABAD - Engineers’ community has termed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-billion dollar project, a pie in the sky for Pakistani engineers.

Talking to APP, patron in chief of National Engineers, a body formed to raise voice for engineers concerns, Engr Abdul Qadir Shah said, “Every year some10,000 engineers enter in country’s job market while it absorbs only 2,000. The number of jobless engineers is currently touching 50,000, adding some 8,000 annually to the figure.”

“CPEC was a ray of hope for local engineers as they were expecting much and more jobs which were likely to be generated through this mega project. But, unfortunately, they were deprived of their fundamental rights because of issuing illegal licences by PEC’s incumbent management to foreign companies without joint ventures with local firms,” he said.

The body’s patron in-chief Engr Abdul Qadir Shah, going to contest Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) upcoming elections, claimed to go all-out for ensuring this most skillful segment’s rights for a greater national interest. Underlining the need to create more jobs, he said, “The body, if mandated, would organise job fairs and not allow foreign companies to get registered in PEC without joint ventures with local firms to ensure local engineers’ rights are not compromised.”

He also claimed to ensure enforcement of 30 percent quota for engineers in China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects at management cadre.

He said he would create reserved seats in PEC governing body especially for females in the lager interest of the community. He said, “The engineers are being exploited by the private sector and they are not being paid reasonable salaries and I would fight for a minimum Rs40,000 per month remuneration to them.” Engr Abdul Qadir also hinted to launch housing schemes, build clubs and academies for this community in big cities for their maximum facilitation.

Engineering departments, he deplored, are being run by people of irrelevant cadres which is also tantamount to justice affecting genuine engineers rights. He also said he would revive health policy for engineers.

Meanwhile, Engr Ehtasham Attari said the community was since long lacking a platform where all issues pertaining to engineers could be addressed and resolved. He appreciated the initiatives of Engr Abdul Qadir, made during his previous tenure, especially biometric voting system, engineers’ appearance in person for induction in any construction company, job fairs, signing accords with international engineering bodies in the larger interest for this neglected workforce.

Another enginner Ahmed Raza hoped that National Engineers would fulfil its promises as it is well conversant with the current and future issues. He appreciated the move of inducting young engineers in PEC’s governing body on reserved seats.

It is pertinent to mention here that the PEC present body was dissolved on June 6, and PEC’s upcoming elections are being scheduled to be held on August 5 as per plan given by PEC Election Committee.