ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said the PTI government had built three times more roads than the PML-N government in a short period of time.
He said the past rulers used to take votes on roads, but now these were being built cheaply as no flats would be bought with its commission in London.
Imran Khan noted that Rs12 billion had been saved due to competitive bidding; it was definitely a big plus point on which he paid tribute to the National Highway Authority (NHA).
The premier emphasised the importance of public-private partnership, and said the problems and obstacles in this regard should be made known, “we will remove all the obstacles”.
Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony of Sialkot-Kharian Motorway, he said development projects are limited due to budget constraints, while it would be very useful if the project was started under public-private partnership. “This project is very important, as it is in that area which has a great potential for industrialisation,” he noted.
The prime minister explained that Wazirabad, Gujranwala and Sialkot areas are very industrialised. He urged the public to be aware of the obstacles in the partnership so that these obstacles can be removed, and all stakeholders are encouraged.
Imran Khan noted that development in the industrial sector would boost the national exchequer of the country, and on this basis it would be possible to repay the loans, therefore, it was necessary to develop the industry.
Imran Khan said subsidies would have to be given for development of the industrial sector while the existing motorway route would provide transport facilities to the central cities. He said that small-scale industry is the backbone of the country's development “but we see that the industry is facing many problems after which it has failed to move forward in the field of development”.
“The government is constantly working to remove all the problems that hinder the development of small industries. If there is any other problem in this regard, the concerned institution or responsible person should immediately inform us,” he maintained.
Imran Khan insisted that while carrying out this work, “you should tell me where it is difficult to get permission and where things are stuck”. He said completion of the new project will reduce the distance by 100km. “But I do not understand why the old motorway was made 100km extra," he said.
Describing the construction of Swat Motorway in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a proud project, the prime minister said that 2.7 million vehicles used the Swat Motorway during the Eid holidays, which is an indication of the benefits of the project.
Talking about the tourism sector, Imran Khan said that no significant steps had been taken in the past to promote tourism in Pakistan. In the current context, he said, only domestic tourism is visible, but if the Swat Motorway is extended to Gilgit, the way for international tourism would be opened.
“The biggest problem of our country is that the previous government did not pay attention to exports. As our economy starts to grow, the dollar depreciates and when imports increase, the economic crisis starts. And then you have to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” he said.
Imran Khan was of the view that in order to increase the volume of dollar in the country, industrial development and tourism must be promoted. He said debt cannot be paid without increasing exports.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said Tarbela Dam filled to its maximum level on Wednesday despite unfavourable weather conditions this year. “Alhamdulillah, Tarbela Dam filled to its max level yesterday (Wednesday) despite unfavourable weather conditions this year. This is a good omen for agriculture & hydel generation. Appreciate the team at Wapda/Irsa for improved water regulation,” he said in a tweet.
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