LAHORE -  Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has said that only 16,000 megawatt electricity was generated during last 66 years of the country’s history, whereas 10,000 megawatt electricity is planned to be inducted in the national grid during 2014 to 2018.

While addressing National Excellency Awards distribution ceremony organised by the Pakistan Engineering Congress to mark the Engineers Day, he said the Lahore-Karachi Motorway project would be completed in 2018. He said that a revolution in Balochistan had been done due to construction of roads and highways, as the distance covered in 24 hours in the past could be covered in just eight hours now.

The minister said revolutionary power projects were in the last phase of completion, adding that Thar Coal project could produce energy for 400 years. He said that 2,000MW electricity will be produced till 2020-2021 from nuclear power plant which will be able to produce energy round the year. He said land had been purchased of $1 billion for Diamir Bhasha Dam. It is planned that 30,000 to 40,000 megawatt electricity will be produced from projects at the Indus River with the help of China, the minister said.

He said policies were not responsible for failure but political de-stability had damaged economy in the past. He said conspiracies against the country had been failed. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a practical picture of Pak-China friendship, he said.

Ahsan said that participation of 65 countries in One Belt One Road (OBOR) Conference was an example of success and 100 more countries had requested to join the project. He said China wanted to make Pakistan an industrial economy, adding that critics would remain crying while Pakistan would make progress.

He said Pakistani economy was growing speedily and the GDP growth had been reached at 5.3 percent this year - highest in last 10 years - while it was 3.7 percent in 2013. The minister said the biggest investment of history was being made in the energy sector in Pakistan.

He said political stability was important and Pakistan would be among the 25 big economies in 2025 if political stability sustained in the country. “International financial institutions are now saying that Pakistan will be included in top 10 economies if speed of progress remains the same,” he said. He urged the engineers to work hard for the nation and the government would also do its best for welfare of engineers.