ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform - Prof. Ahsan Iqbal has emphasised upon the early start of Karachi Circular Railway Project as it would be the flagship project of economic cooperation between Pakistan and Japan.

He said this while talking to Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan Hiroshai Inomata. The Ambassador told the Federal Minister that Japanese companies are willing to invest in Pakistan in energy and infrastructure projects in order to help it kick start its economic growth. He added, “Japanese companies are keen to invest in energy and infrastructure projects”.

On this occasion, Prof Ahsan Iqbal emphasised upon the early start of Karachi Circular Railway Project as it would be the flagship project of economic cooperation between the two countries. 

He highlighted, “Pakistan is focused on generating cheaper electricity by harnessing alternative means of producing energy, because thermal is too costly to be afforded. 

Pakistan wants to revert to its traditional energy mix, in which 70pc reliance is on hydel and coal compared with just 30pc presently.  We are working on solar and wind power plants as they can quickly contribute to national grid.  In the medium to long term, Pakistan is committed to build coal-fired, nuclear and hydel power plants to meet the growing needs of its economy”. 

The Federal Minister said. “The economic policies of government are attracting attention of global investors and Pakistan with a market of 180 million population offers great opportunities.

There is corruption free government which is giving boost to country’s image.”

Earlier, addressing Consultative Workshop on MDG Acceleration Framework Action Plan, organised by UNDP, the Federal minister said, “We cannot aspire to become a developed nation without improving our social sector service delivery”.

He said, “We must treat Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as our national development goals instead of considering them international obligation under the United Nations”.

He added, “Economic development is gauged not only by the quantum of better infrastructure but the level of human development too.  If our human capital is not developed, we are nowhere in the development matrix, as a nation”, he added.

Ahsan Iqbal highlighted, “It is a bitter reality that South Asia as a region ranks very low on Human Development Index.  Even the economic development of India over the past decade could not be translated into social development of the people.  Therefore, we all must work in unison to improve upon the human development indicators of our region”.

 He added, “In the post 18th amendment scenario, we need to evolve a new framework of social development, which is characterised by better competitive dynamics and enhanced coordination between provinces and the centre.In Vision 2025, government is working with the provinces to assign high priority to social sector.