Budget 2021: CPEC key priority of government

Syed Kamal Hussain Shah : The writer is 'Special Correspondent' of 'The Financial Daily'in Abbottabad and is available at Twitter: @shahsabg

Besides China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) there are also other projects of China that include “One Belt, One Road” initiative, economic corridors, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Southeast Asian Maritime Silk Road. CPEC in Pakistan will include industrialization, infrastructure development, energy projects, & the Gwadar Portdevelopment.The CPEC has great potentials for Pakistan as well as China in both economic and regional commentative and has the potential to boost Pakistan’s economy, making the country a regional economic hub. It carries a great significance to the development of Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and will bring benefits to Pakistani people of effectively promoting the economic & social development of all regions in Pakistan.
In Pakistan,CPEC is moving forward with full swing. Prime Minister always gives importance to CPEC projects. China is biggest example for and the world.PM Imran Khan has the commitment to speed up the projects under CPEC.
In the Federal Budget 2021-22, the PTI government has focused on development, relief to common people &CPEC development projects in Pakistan.Due to CPEC our exports increased and government had set the exports target of $35 billion for upcoming Fiscal Year of 2021-22. With production and international standard getting international market and free trade agreement with China help Pakistan achieve that target easily.
The growth-oriented budget announced would help run industrial sector, special CPEC zoneand create vast job opportunities for the masses.
Prime Minister hasfocused on imparting technical training to a large number of young people to provide them honorable earning opportunities with China setting up training centres/colleges all over Pakistan to help achieve that target.
Roads always play an important role in development special links markets. In the Federal Budget 2021-22, projects under CPEC including the Western Route, the ongoing projects of Railways for improvement of regional/provincial connectivity including ML-1 have been funded as a special case. The government is allocating Rs.118 billion to National Highways Authority, Rs.24 billion to Railways for the development of their infrastructure including ML-1. For other communication projects, of Rs.37 billion have been allocated while construction of ML-1 of Pakistan Railways &Dry Port phase-I near Havelian are also being planned for the upcoming year.
In the budget 2021-22, government has prioritized 6 projects under CPEC that include completion of Karachi-Lahore Motorway, the 120 Km Havelian-Thahkot road phase-I, the 2nd phase of Karakoram Highway, Zhob-KuchlakRoad, &expansion and construction of Chitral-Boni-Mustoj-ShundorRoad.
CPEC’s 17 projects worth $13 billion had been completed and another 21 amounting to $21 billion were underway, while additional 26 strategic projects of $28 billion were in the pipeline.
Some Rs.91 billion have been proposed in the budget for ensuring water security including Rs.57 billion for Dasu Hydropower Project, Rs.23 billion for Diamer-Bhasha Dam, and Rs.14 billion for Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project.
This budget gives very important investing in establishment of special economic zones under CPEC supporting new exports in IT sector and agro-based industries andendeavoring to make CPEC the platform where industries would be relocated, employment opportunities created & exports were made possible.Special economic zone enterprises were earlier exempted from tax.
With these positive steps of the government forthe Special Economic Zones under the CPEC would also help in local industrial development and creating job opportunities for the skilled and semi-skilled work force.
CPEC will givewin-win results & bring benefits to people in China and Pakistan as well as other countries in the region.