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May 16, 2018

Consensus caretaker PM to be good sign: Dr Ishrat


May 16, 2018

Islamabad: Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Dr Ishrat Hussain, who is one of the strong contenders among others for slot of caretaker Prime Minister, said on Monday that it would be good omen for the country if treasury and opposition benches struck agreement on consensus candidate for upcoming interim prime minister in caretaker setup.

“It will be good sign for the country if the matter is resolved among the treasury and opposition benches on name of any man or woman for caretaker premier. In case they failed then it would be referred to parliamentary parties and finally the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would have to take decision if all other forums failed to evolve consensus on any name,” Dr Ishrat Hussain said in an informal talk with media persons here after launch of his book titled “CPEC and Pakistan Economy: An Appraisal” published by CPEC Center of Excellence here on Monday.

When asked whether anyone had contacted for getting his assent for presenting his name, he replied that he had not been contacted by anyone and he was reading stories appearing in press on this subject. He said that it would be good omen for the country if the government and opposition leader evolved consensus on name of anyone. “Its good if they agree on name of any man or woman,” he added. When asked whether they could agree on name of woman, he replied that yes it could be happened.

Earlier, in his address on the occasion, Dr Ishrat Hussain said that with removal of supply bottlenecks of energy sector, Pakistan’s exports could have fetched $36 billion from existing level of $21 billion and the country would not have faced problems in shape of current account deficit (CAD).

He said the Chinese have invested around $35 billion under 1994 energy policy introduced by former premier Benazir Bhutto and after improving energy supply the country’s exports went up by 19 percent in last month. “Pakistan can maximise benefits if China relocates its industry and private sector of both sides could establish joint ventures in upcoming Special Economic Zones (SEZs)”, he added.

Pakistan, he said, got God-givine opportunity in shape of CPEC through which the country could transform itself from low income to middle income brackets among the comity of the world. “We can request China for transfer of technology,” he said and added that China had become from $9000 to $30,000 per capita income and there was need to grasp arising opportunities of CPEC.

China’s Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing said that the CPEC demonstrates Chinese confidence on Pakistan as Beijing considers it as appropriate place for investment destined for prosperity and progress. He said that the CPEC was new level of cooperation as under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it was only CPEC which was under execution as bilateral project between Pakistan and China. He said that Board of Investment (BOI) was working on establishment of SEZs and China wanted to go ahead with Joint Venture (JV) to make it success. “CPEC is just beginning and we are confident that it will bring prosperity in Pakistan,” he added.

On the occasion, Sohaib Ahmed Siddiqui Secretary Planning said that Pakistan possessed opportunity to transform its economy with help of CPEC. “Time and tide wait for none,” he said and added that it was appropriate time to align with CPEC to reap and maximise benefits for sake of Pakistan.

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