AT its first meeting on Thursday, the National Development Council took some important decisions about the development of Balochistan and tribal districts as well as fast tracking the work on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project which is really indicative of the fact that the Council has set the right priorities to take forward the country.
Most importantly, the Council approved formation of CPEC Authority for ensuring accelerated implementation of the Corridor-related projects. This is really a welcome step and shows the commitment and seriousness of incumbent government towards this mega project which has the potential to change the entire economic landscape of the country. The CPEC Authority indeed will provide a much needed platform for multi-sectoral coordination and will prove to be instrumental in coordinating efforts for development and implementation of future CPEC projects. We are confident that skilful human resource fully cognizant with the contours of the Corridor would have been hired to run the Authority on modern lines. Up till now, power plants and road infrastructure projects under the CPEC have seen fast tracked implementation but now the first task for the CPEC Authority should be to activate the process of the establishment of special economic zones that will also see shifting of industry from China to Pakistan. These special economic zones are very important to put the country on the path of industrialization. This path will help the country address most of its economic woes, achieve sustainable growth, substantially enhance exports and create hundreds of thousands of job opportunities for the youth. Both the CPEC Authority and the Board of Investment should synergize efforts to attract maximum investment from other foreign companies and countries in these SEZs in order to really make them a successful model. Doing so will also help realize the long cherished dream of turning Gwadar into one of the busiest ports in the world.