Peshawar - Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Thursday held meetings with the Federal Ministers to discuss matters regarding inclusion of various mega development projects of the province in CPEC portfolio. 

In separate meetings with Federal Ministers Asad Umar, Muraad Saeed, Umar Ayub and Special Assistant to PM Nadeem Babar, the Chief Minister underlined the need to make important development projects of the province a part of CPEC. The meeting thoroughly discussed the proposed projects for inclusion in CPEC including Peshawar to D.I. Khan Motorway, Dir Motorway, Swat Motorway and Mega Hydel Power Projects of the province. Higher authorities of communication, water and power and planning division were also present in the meetings.  

On the occasion, concerned federal ministers assured their full cooperation for inclusion of the proposed development projects in CPEC portfolio. The Chief Minister said that inclusion of these projects in CPEC and their subsequent completion would prove to be a milestone towards sustainable development of tourism, energy, communication, agriculture, industry and other relevant sectors. He said completion of mega hydel power projects of Chitral would provide all time solution to the issues of electricity in Chakdara, Swat and Chitral.  

The Chief Minister also raised the issue of power load-shedding in the newly merged tribal districts and asked the relevant quarters for immediate steps to resolve the issue. He also urged upon the authorities to speed up work on upgradation of grid stations in merged areas.

Meanwhile, chairing a high-level meeting, the Chief Minister said that in order to boost industrial sector in the province, the KP government has finalized preparations for the commercial launching of six new economic zones including Nowshehra Economic Zone, Rashakai Special Economic Zone, Ghazi Economic Zone, Chitral Economic Zone, Mohmand Economic Zone and D.I. Khan Economic Zone. These all economic zones would be launched phase wise from November this year to February next year. 

The Chief Minister on the occasion said that future of the province was linked with industries and the provincial government was working under the integrated development strategy for the establishment of industries and promotion of economic activities. He directed the authorities concerned to ensure visible progress on the economic zones in accordance with the stipulated timelines. 

Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Industries Abdul Kareem Khan, Secretary Industries Javed Marwat, Principal Secretary to CM Shahab Ali Shah, Chief Executive Officer of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company and authorities of Finance and P&D Departments attended the meeting.  

The meeting was informed that launching of 76-acre Nowshehra Economic Zone extension project was expected till the end of present month. Investment of Rs.1.6 Billion and roundabout 12000 direct and indirect employment opportunities were expected through this project. Construction of access road to the project site has been completed and 200KVA transformers have been installed to provide electricity. It was further informed that all pre-requisites had been completed for the inauguration of 1000-acre Rashakai Special Economic Zone which was scheduled to be launched by the next month.  

The project would have space to accommodate 400 industrial units through which investment of $1.9 billion approximately and two lac direct and indirect employments were expected. 70% work on the access road to the site has been completed.  

Similarly, 89-acre Ghazi Economic Zone and 40-acre Chitral Economic Zone would also be launched in December 2020 whereas commercial launching of 350-acre Mohmand Economic Zone has been scheduled in January 2021. Mohmand Economic Zone would have space for 300 industrial units with expected investment of Rs.7.6 billion and 56000 direct and indirect employment opportunities.  

The meeting was informed that the project had been divided in three zones, Zone-A had totally been leased out. Under the project 25 units were under construction while construction of five additional units would soon be started, the forum was informed. The authorities told that formal inauguration of 189-acre D.I Khan Economic Zone was expected in February 2021. Investment of Rs.1.5 billion and over 30 thousand direct and indirect employments were expected through this project.  

Four industrial units are operational; two units are under construction and construction of five additional units to be started very soon. The meeting was told that 424-acre Hattar Special Economic Zone extension project was also in progress under which six industries were already in production and 32 under construction. A total of 125 units were expected in this economic zone.  

It was also revealed in the meeting that 92-acre Export Processing Zone in Nowshehra was also being established with the expected investment of over 166 million dollar and more than 30 thousand employment opportunities. The forum was also briefed about the economic zones to be established during the next financial year including 3125-acre Daraban Special Zone, 408-acre Bannu Economic Zone and 126-acre Buner Economic Zone. Similarly, establishment of Women Business Development Complex Peshawar and Salt and Gypsum City at Karak were also in pipeline.