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January 12, 2017

Ahsan urges LGs to take up SDGs as growth agenda


January 12, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has urged local governments to come forward and take up SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) as their development agenda.

Ahsan Iqbal expressed these views while addressing the inaugural session of the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) on Chitral here on Wednesday. The event was attended by local politicians of Chitral, diplomats and PPAF officials. The minister appreciated the initiative by PPAF and the organisers and said that this is setting the way forward for local governments in Pakistan that they should take responsibility for development of their districts and realise the vision for our country.

He further added that the country was moving forward which gives us hope, confidence and energises us to achieve our goals. The minister expressed that we want Pakistan to achieve 7% growth continuously. We need to create 15 million jobs every year so that we can accommodate our youth.

The minister added the prime minister has a vision of regional connectivity. Now the time has come when we have to take geo-economic advantage to make Pakistan a hub of business, trade, commerce and manufacturing for South Asia, China and Central Asia which has three billion population.

Ahsan Iqbal complemented the support of all the political parties and stakeholders for the Pakistan Vision 2025 and said that CPEC will transform Pakistan’s economy in future and make Pakistan an Asian tiger.

While talking about Central Asia Regional economic cooperation framework, the minister said that we are building two routes i.e. Peshawar to Kabul, and Kabul to Central Asia. Then, Quetta to Herat and Herat to Turkmenistan and this is how we will integrate Pakistan with Central Asia. He maintained that we are working on the Chitral-Tajikistan connectivity to benefit entire region.

The minister also talked about the Chitral Garam Chashma Road, Kalash Valley Road, Shandur Road Project, Wapda Power House, electrification project and Lowari Tunnel, which was started in the 70s and no government ever gave that much importance. He appreciated that 70% percent of the funds were released by the government and the project will be completed in 2017. He added that another mega project to be completed in 2017 is hydro project which was there but not funded and they took this challenge to complete the project.

Talking about the projects announced by the PM, he said  they were committed as PM has announced to set up university in Chitral, PM health programme has been initiated and survey for LPG is also underway that will also help us to preserve forestry in the region. Mobile towers are also put up to provide connectivity. These are billion-rupee projects announced by the PM for Chital.

Talking about challenges faced by SDGs, the minister said that one major challenge is that our social foundations are not very strong; we have to take SDG as national priority. This is how we can participate to create strong social foundation to take Pakistan to the top 10 economies by 2047.


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