ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that industrialization, as well as the promotion of tourism, were inevitable to repay debts through boosting exports and wealth creation.
The prime minister, addressing the groundbreaking ceremony of Sambrial-Kharian Motorway here, said the motorway would facilitate the industrial triangle of Gujranwala-Wazirabad-Sialkot which was also a dense population region.
Minister for Communications Murad Saeed, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, SAPM Usman Dar and Chairman of National Highway Authority Captain (Retd) Khurram Agha attended the event.
The prime minister, who earlier unveiled the plaque to break ground for 69-kilometer motorway, said the area had immense potential for industrialization, so it was equally direly needed to incentivize the industrial sector to bring about a boom in exports and increase revenue.
He said the government was committed to facilitate the SMEs sector by easing their approval processes, and also assured the NHA to support them for swift approval of public private partnership projects.
The Rs 32 billion Sambrial-Kharian Motorway would beget around 4,275 jobs and cater to around 23,000 vehicles per day. The initial four-lane motorway would consist of five interchanges at Jalalpur Jattan, Pero Shah, Daulat Nagar, Galyana and Kharian.
The prime minister said SMEs were the backbone of the national economy but unfortunately, they had to face impediments for their approval processes.
Regarding the construction of 69-km Sambrial-Kharian Motorway which would later be extended to Rawalpindi, would shorten Lahore-Islamabad distance by 100 kilometer comparing the existing M-2 Motorway.
He said additional 100 km stretch of M-2 Motorway was beyond consumption as it cost additional burden on economy in form of imported fuel besides maintenance cost of vehicles during last 20 years.
He said the public private partnership (PPP) mode would help save the development fund which would be spent on other public welfare projects. The prime minister also appreciated the saving of Rs 12 billion (26% of project cost) through negotiation by the NHA.
He said every project must be designed in accordance with its benefits for the people. Lauding PTI government’s project of Swat Motorway, the prime minister said owing to better connectivity, around 2.7 million vehicles had visited the area during Eid days.
He said the country could generate huge revenue through prudent policies like promotion of tourism considering country’s huge potential.
He said so far the country was looking at the domestic tourism but once the road between Swat and Gilgit was constructed, it would attract foreign tourists too thus bringing foreign exchange.
Imran Khan said the tourism could help fill the dollar gap until country’s exports reach to the desired level.
He appreciated the communications minister and NHA for executing numerous projects within record time, even more than those who used to beg votes claiming credit of mere roads construction.
Communications Minister Murad Saeed told the gathering it was the first motorway of North Punjab. After approval by the CDWP, the second phase would also be launched from Kharian to Rawalpindi this year.
Drawing a comparison between the PML-N and PTI government’s performance during first three years, the minister said the PTI had constructed 1753km roads comparing 645 km by the PML-N government.
He said the PTI planned 6118km road against just 858km by the PML-N. During the incumbent government, the NHA also increased its revenue by Rs87 billion, he said.
Murad Saeed said the NHA had completed 29 projects this year and was also set to launch repair of around 4,000km roads by June.
NHA Chairman Khurram Agha explaining the features of the projects said the NHA had saved Rs 12 billion by bargaining the project cost from initial Rs 43 billion to 32 billion.
Later, the FWO, the contractor, also gave a voluntary concession of Rs1 billion, he said.