CPEC projects to be completed timely in GB: CM


GILGIT, Oct 29 (APP):Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Chief Minister Muhammad Khalid Khurshid Khan Friday said the projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be completed timely and meet the expectations of the population who felt deprivation during the previous years in the development process.

He was speaking at the “Regional Dialogue on the Role of Parliament in Promoting Trade, Agriculture and Tourism under CPEC” held here.

The event highlighted the CPEC projects and potential of GB in the area of trade, tourism, agriculture minerals and mines sectors for economic outreach under CPEC.

The GB chief minister said the projects of Raikot-Thakot Bypass and Gilgit-Chatral- Shandoor Expressway would open new avenues of development and investment for the people besides promoting tourism.

He said the tourism sector was on the topmost priority as it would generate revenue like other tourist destinations in the world.

He said power sector also had huge potential, if water resources were tapped, the energy crises could be ended and even we could be able to export it to neighboring countries.

He said GB was confronting with seasonal challenges and connectivity, adding that multiple inter-connectivity routes were much needed for uninterrupted communication.

Addressing the dialogue session GB Deputy Speaker Nazir Ahmad said despite huge potential of power generation no tangible project was initiated in GB. If government would seriously make efforts, fuel crises of the region could be addressed.

“The climate change in wake of CPEC should be addressed on priority and the prime minister has taken keen interest to combat climate change issues,” he added.

He said the GB was hub for fresh waters, timely measures were needed to combat with rising challenges of the environment.

He proposed to finance the 100mw KIU Power Project and 80 mw Phander Power Project from CPEC.

Parliamentary Committee Chairman Sher Ali Arbab said the committee had come to Gilgit to address the issues pertaining to CPEC.

He said the purpose of visiting Gilgit was to push the CPEC projects and address various issues that needed support at the end of the parliament.

He said the committee would take all the recommendations from the dialogue and present them at the upcoming CPEC event in Islamabad at the national level.

He said serious efforts would be made to address the issues faced by the Gilgit government and that was the reason the CPEC committee planned to visit Gilgit.

Jochen Hippler from Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) also addressed the event while Hamayun Khan from FES was moderating the session.

The dialogue had two panel discussions that include “Trade and Regional Connectivity under-CPEC Opportunities and Challenges for Gilgit Baltistan” and “Tourism, Agriculture, Minerals and Mines sectors development in Gilgit”.

The dialogue was attended by the members of Parliamentary Committee on CPEC, minister for excise and taxation, Zakat, Usher and cooperative department, senior minister for industries, trade, commerce and youth affairs, minister for tourism, culture and sports, minister for agriculture, minister for water and power, minister for local government and rural development, academia, industrialists, progressive farmers, international organizations, chamber of commerce, tour operators, senior government officials, media and civil society amongst others.

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