Govt tak­ing steps for sus­tained eco­nomic growth: Khur­ram

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Com­merce, Engr. Khur­ram Dasta­gir Khan has said the gov­ern­ment was tak­ing all pos­si­ble steps to en­sure sus­tained and in­clu­sive eco­nomic growth based on jus­tice and equal­ity.

The gov­ern­ment has planned to set up first Land Ports Au­thor­ity for es­tab­lish­ing land ports near Wagha and Tourkham bor­ders. Open­ing of bor­der with In­dia at another point, most likely Monna-Bao, is also un­der con­sid­er­a­tion as the gov­ern­ment be­lieves in en­hanc­ing re­gional trade and eco­nomic lib­er­al­iza­tion, he said.

The Min­is­ter was speak­ing on the Prime Min­is­ter's Vi­sion-2025 dur­ing an in­ter­ac­tive ses­sion with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of joint business coun­cils/as­so­ci­a­tions of Pak­istan and var­i­ous other coun­tries here late Thurs­day evening. The diplo­mats of dif­fer­ent coun­tries in­clud­ing Afghanistan, Iran, Ger­many and United King­dom were also present.

Khur­ram Dasta­gir said, "The vi­sion2025 is to fo­cus on very tal­ented peo­ple es­pe­cially the youth of Pak­istan. Our vi­sion is ' Peo­ple First' and we try to cre­ate op­por- tu­ni­ties for all Pak­ista­nis." The vi­sion-2025 will prove as an agent of so­cial and eco­nomic change in the coun­try, he noted. He said en­ergy cri­sis and ex­trem­ism are the two main bar­ri­ers on the way of ex­e­cut­ing the vi­sion-2025. How­ever, he said, thedemo­cratic gov­ern­ment is fight­ing ter­ror­ism as after ter­ror­ist at­tack on a school in Pe­shawar it has be­come a more se­ri­ous chal­lenge for the coun­try.

He ap­pealed to the peo­ple to support the elected gov­ern­ment in fight­ing this men­ace be­cause it has very bad ef­fect on the econ­omy and de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try. He PML-led gov­ern­ment is also tak­ing prac­ti­cal short, medium and long term mea­sures for over­com­ing the en­ergy cri­sis at the ear­li­est. The gov­ern­ment's en­ergy plan in­cludes coal-based power gen­er­a­tion and dif­fer­ent en­ergy mix. First liquified nat­u­ral gas (LNG) ter­mi­nal at Port Qasim will be op­er­a­tional in April 2015 and then work on sec­ond LNG ter­mi­nal will be started, he in­formed.

Engr. Khur­ram said Prime Min­is­ter Muham­mad Nawaz Sharif and his team are also fo­cus­ing on trade , in­vest­ment and con­nec­tiv­ity. He said the gov­ern­ment be­lieves in ex­ports-led eco­nomic growth and the tar­get is 20 per cent an­nual growth in ex­ports. He said the gov­ern­ment in co­op­er­a­tion with other stake­hold­ers will try its best to cut the cost of do­ing business.

The Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Com­merce said the gov­ern­ment al­so­gives great im­por­tance to re­gional co­op­er­a­tion for strength­en­ing econ­omy and for de­vel­op­ment. He un­der­lined the need for col­lec­tive wis­dom and ef­forts for grow­ing Pak­istan.

To a ques­tion from a par­tic­i­pant, the Min­is­ter said the role of ju­di­ciary for en­forc­ing con­tracts is very im­por­tant for

eco­nomic growth. To another query, he said that for in­creas­ing re­gional trade­the gov­ern­ment will sign TIR con­ven­tions. The sum­mary in this re­gard has been sub­mit­ted for Cab­i­net's ap­proval.

An­swer­ing a query he said the gov­ern­ment has ini­ti­ated for sec­ond free trade agree­ment (FTA-II) with China which will be ne­go­ti­ated thor­oughly in­de­pen­dently from the first FTA. The FTA- II would carry bet­ter terms and con­di­tions for Pak­istan. Chi­nese are agreed that Chi­nese con­ces­sions un­der FTA-II would be broader than those from Pak­istan, he said.

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