RAWALPINDI - Provincial Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment Chaudhry Muhammad Shafique visited the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) on Saturday.

He had jointly been invited by the RCCI and Management Board of Rawat Industrial Estate for a presentation on RCCI’s self-financed Industrial Estate in Rawat.

Metro Bus Project Chairman and former PML-N MNA Muhammad Hanif Abbasi, Punjab Industrial Estate (PIE) Chairman Rizwan Khalid Butt, Additional District Collector Rawalpindi (ADCR) Arif Raheem, PIE CEO Col (r) Naveed Mushtaq, RCCI Acting President Saqib Rafiq, Vice President Muhammad Aqil Obaid, group leaders Sheikh Shabbir, Sohail Altaf, S M Naseem, former presidents, Anjuman e Tajiran representatives, Sheikh Hafiz, Shahid Ghafoor Paracha, Arshad Awan, members of the Rawat Industrial Management Board and RCCI executive committee were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the meeting, the minister appreciated the RCCI’s efforts for establishing an industrial estate and looking after the whole project without any government help.

He said that the Punjab government was very vocal and supportive on public-private initiatives. He said that CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif had a vision to promote industry in the region in order to overcome unemployment by boosting business activities.

Shafique assured the businessmen of his full cooperation for removing all hurdles and upgrading and developing the Rawat Industrial Estate.

He said the estimated cost to upgrade and bring it at par with other industrial estates stood at around Rs3 billion.

He asked the RCCI and the management board to compile a comprehensive report on it and send it to the Punjab Industrial Estate Department.

“The significance of Rawalpindi region has increased due to the CPEC and has doubly increased due to Rawat Industrial Estate,” Shafique noted.

He also visited the site and appreciated the efforts of RCCI.

Earlier, Acting President Saqib Rafiq gave a brief presentation to the minister and informed that Rawat Industrial Estate had an area of 5882 kanals, with 1356 industrial plots.

“It has 164 operational units, 75 under-construction and 35 partially closed. The major units are of pharmaceutical, steel and plastic,” he informed.

He said that an alternate route/link road was required for smooth entrance and exit. “The upgradation of roads, sewerage plant, water supply, extension of Sui gas pipeline, a bank branch and sub post office can help boost industrial activities in this estate,” he said, and added, “We are hopeful that the government would provide full support and cooperate to us.”

In the end, a memento was presented to the provincial minister by acting president RCCI.