ISLAMABAD (APP) - The government would spend Rs 520 billion by 2012 to develop National Trade Corridor (NTC) in order to boost trade activities and exports. A source in Ministry of Communications told APP on Saturday that NTC will link upper parts of the country in the North with ports in the South to reduce travel time and fuel cost by improving existing road network and introducing new highways and motorways by 2012. The development of NTC would cause multifaceted benefits, reduce the losses and significantly contribute to the national exchequer, he added. On completion of the National Trade Corridor by 2012 the cargo travel time from Karachi to Peshawar would be reduced from 72 hours to 36 hours, and road losses would be reduced to the tune of over $1 billion per annum which will reduce annual transportation cost by 10 per cent, the source added. Talking about steps being taken for development of road network, he said, China had agreed to widen and rehabituate 600 kms of Karakoram Highway at the cost of $350 million. He said the main artery and the main North-South corridor linking Karachi with Torkham on Pakistan-Afghanistan border via Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar the National Highway N- 5 is the mainstay of the country's road network and its economic lifeline. The Great Trunk road N-5 is being converted into a dual carriageway.  Similarly Indus Highway, (N-55) which is on the left bank of Indus river, is also being constructed according to the specifications of the Asian Highways recommended by the Asian Development Bank.  After construction of Kohat Tunnel, N-55 is set to play a vital role not only for Pakistan but for inter- regional connectivity also, he added.  The transport cost of trade goods would be reduced through restructuring and modernization of railway, under the NTC programme, which will contribute in terms of saving of $ 2 to 2.5 billion per year. The administrative measures, reducing documentation would result in saving of $1.2 billion per annum, he said.