Zafar Malik

SIALKOT

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday asserted that the PML-N government has been able to overcome the shortage of electricity and now the country produces surplus electricity, well enough for the next 15 years.

"The present government has completed different electricity producing project which will produce 10,000 megawatts power in the country," PM Shahid Khqan Abbasi declared while addressing the inauguration of international terminal at Sialkot International Airport Ltd (SIAL) here on Monday. The premier termed SIAL the first successful green field airport in the world. He said unlike other unsuccessful green field airports in the world, the Sialkot International Airport is continuously being expanded with favourable outcomes.

The PM said the opening of international terminal at the airport would prove a significant milestone not only for the city, but for the entire country.

The new international terminal building has been completed on self-help basis with Rs1.12 billion.

It is to be noted that a green field airport is a new airport constructed at an undeveloped site in contrast to the brown field project where the already operational infrastructure is modified or upgraded.

The prime minister lauded the funding and patience of the business community of Sialkot that made this project a reality.

He mentioned that the businessmen of Faisalabad have also showed keen interest in the establishment of a similar airport in the textile hub, to which he assured them full support of the government.

Abbasi expressed satisfaction over the completion of several development projects in Sialkot and adjoining areas. He said the National Highway Authority is completing projects worth Rs 200 billion in the area.

Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Kh Asif , Chairman Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) Khawar Anwar Khawaja and CEO of SIAL Maj-Gen Mir Haider Ali Khan received the Prime Minister at Sialkot international airport flanked by Federal Interior Minister Ch Ahsan Iqbal and Aviation Advisor to PM Sardar Mehtab Ahmed.

While addressing the management and directors of theSIAL here, PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi highly hailed the Sialkot exporters' spirit of self-help, saying that the exporters have set a unique example of self-help by establishing the mega project of SIAL, advising others to replicate the project.

The PM said that the government would encourage the private sector at every level for setting up private airports in the country.

"Everyone must follow in the footprints of Sialkot exporters for ensuring socio-economic and human development in Pakistan on self-help basis, the PM emphasized.

The premier claimed that the PML-N government has successfully completed Nandipur Power project, which, he said, is now producing 425 megawatts electricity.

"The government has established a number of power producing projects under the vision of the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had promised with the nation to eliminate energy crisis from the country," he claimed.

"After completion of different projects of power generation now the government has focused on reducing the cost of production of the electricity for providing cheap electricity to the masses in the country," revealed the PM.

The prime minister hinted that there would soon be a vision able reduction in the prices of electricity and gas for the masses, saying that the PML-N has fulfilled all its promises.

PM Abbasi pledged to provide cheaper electricity and gas to the common man, claiming that energy crisis is now over in the country.

In veiled criticism of opponents, the prime minister said that some elements are busy prompting the politics of conflict and confrontation for their personal gains. "These elements should remember that they (opponents) could not distract the PML-N government attention from development and prosperity of the country, he added.

PM Abbasi said that the PML-N government firmly believes in peaceful politics and strengthening the democracy and democratic system besides, boosting national institutions.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi revealed that work on various communication development projects worth of Rs200 billion is underway at a brisk pace in and around Sialkot district, saying that these projects (including Rs91.4 billion Sialkot-Lahore Motorway project) would change destiny of the entire region.

Later, Prime Minister Abbasi reviewed in detail progress on Sialkot-Lahore Motorway project. PM directed the concerned officials of National Highway Authority (NHA) and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) to ensure timely completion of Sialkot-Lahore Motorway project.

On the Occasion, Chairman National Highway Authority (NHA) Jawad Rafiq gave a detailed briefing to PM Abbasi about the pace of work on Sialkot-Lahore Motorway project. He said that Sialkot-Lahore Motorway would be 91.4km long and would be completed in four phases at a cost of Rs43.84 billion. The NHA chairman informed that first phase of the motorway project would be completed in April 2018, second phase in August and the rest phases would be completed by the end of December 2018. He said that construction of several links roads (leading to Sialkot-Lahore Motorway) is also underway at a brisk pace.

Later, addressing exporters at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi stressed the need for focusing on increasing national exports, keeping in way potential of the local industry.

"The business community must strive for exploring potential of the country to the full extent," he pointed out, adding that Sialkot exporters are meeting world quality standards and international trade challenges by producing world class products.

He reiterated that the PML-N government would encourage export sector through different incentives.

The premier pledged to provide cheap electricity and gas to the industrial and agricultural sector to enable reduce cost of production, saying that the revolutionary step would boost the industrial and agricultural sectors.

PM Abbasi vowed that the government would continue its agenda of economic development and stability by taking the business community into confidence.

He claimed that Pakistan's economic indicators have been getting better since the government came to power, adding that the government effective economic policies have restored confidence of national and foreign investors. "Govt policies have born fruits which are visible from the national economy moving ahead towards economic stability," he claimed.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi linked economic prosperity with political stability to ensure continuity of policies. He underlined the need for development of human resources for continuous economic growth.

The PML-N government has successfully halted economic decline by breathing new life in the sick economy through restoration of confidence of the national and foreign investors.

The prime minister termed exporters backbone of the national economy, saying Sialkot exporters have been playing a pivotal role in strengthening national economy by earning precious foreign exchange to the tune of $2 billion per annum.

Mr Abbasi dubbed Sialkot an engine for boosting national export and hailed the unique export culture of the region.

The prime minister said the government is well aware of the problems being faced by the business community and making all-out efforts to resolve it at the earliest.

PM Abbasi said that the issue of sales tax refund and duty draw back claims of Sialkot exporters would be resolved till February 15,2018 to enable exporters focus on economic and industrial growth.

He also assured the exporters of development funds provision for Sialkot industry from the Export Development Fund (EDF).

He also stressed the need for transparency and betterment in the taxation system to increase tax net.

Earlier, Sialkot exporters accorded a warm welcome to PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi upon his arrival at SCCI here.

Later, addressing a convention of the PML-N workers at the residence of Foreign Minister Kh Asif, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Pakistan has been fighting the world's biggest war against terrorism and has rendered great sacrifices to weed out terrorism. "The world must recognise Pakistan's unmatched sacrifices rendered for uprooting terrorism and establishment of durable peace in the region," the PM pointed out.

He said that the PML-N government has foiling all conspiracies of undemocratic elements by focusing national development and prosperity. "The PML-N believes in principles and public service," he asserted.

The prime minister claimed that the PML-N government has eliminated inherited energy crisis and fulfilled its promise made with the nation, adding that the government put the country on the path to political and economic stability through sagacious and well thought out policies.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing the inauguration ceremony of

International Terminal at Sialkot Airport.–DNA