Says while there is a world of new cities, IT parks and economic zones on the Eastern route, the Western one is a dump; Khan says government’s economic policies are a wash as exports are down, investments fleeing and tax collection low;
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and PTI Chief Imran Khan on Tuesday criticised the federal government for not taking the smaller provinces into confidence on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and for the government’s failed economic policies.
Speaking at PTI’s parliamentary party meeting chaired by the PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Pervez Khattak said that the federal government did not bother to even consider the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s resolutions nor did it respond to KP government’s letter regarding CPEC. He lamented that such attitude on the part of the federal government was not only exacerbating the concerns of the parliamentary and other political parties but also compelling the KP government to take tougher steps for securing the rights of the province associated with CPEC and other issues.
The chief minister said that his province was also being deprived of its due share in electricity and net hydel profit which had reached Rs 120 billion and was payable by the federal government.
The meeting was attended by the PTI members of the parliament and KP, Punjab and Sindh assemblies.
Speaking during the meeting and later, while addressing a news conference PTI Chief Imran Khan urged the government to take along all political parties in the implementation of the multi-billion dollar project.
Members of National Assembly Asad Umar and Jahangir Khan Tareen were also present on the occasion.
The PTI chief said that CPEC must be executed as it would be beneficial for the whole country.
Khan criticised the government’s economic polices, claiming that during its tenure the country’s exports, foreign and local investment and tax collection ratio had all declined.
The PTI chief claimed there was increase in foreign debt, inflation and unemployment. He urged the government to invest in public welfare projects as it would eliminate poverty from the country. He asked for allocating more funds for health and education sectors.
He also urged all the political leadership to declare their assets, adding that details of assets of PTI’s core committee members were available on its official website.
Answering a question, he said, PTI leadership was ready to hold a public debate with PML-N on television regarding the country’s current economic situation and prove its claim.
He said that the economic situation could not be improved without introducing reforms in Federal Bureau of Revenue.
Speaking on the occasion, Umar Asad claimed that despite the tall claims of the government, facts and figures showed a rapid decline in investment and exports, while the cost of doing business increased, as did the number of unemployed workers.
Earlier, the chief minister had apprised the meeting of the latest situation regarding CPEC project, federal government’s outstanding dues of net hydel power profit, increasing load shedding, use of KP’s surplus water, Chashma Right Bank Canal and other projects. He said that the federal government was not only practicing delaying tactics in provision of rights of the people of KP in connection with these affairs and projects but also trying to conceal facts about them.
Khattak said that that All Parties Conferences held by political parties of KP and Balochistan also expressed strong reservations on CPEC and demanded of the federal government to do away with these concerns but that they had not received a satisfactory response.
He revealed that certain other facilities linked with the Eastern Route of CPEC had come to light and they included establishment of huge new cities and a host of information technology (IT) and economic zones. He said that mere construction of a road on the Western Route of the Corridor would serve no purpose. Only if they project included the essential allied facilities of power projects, gas lines, railways, economic zones and information technology infrastructure, could it really be called a Corridor.
He said that the breach of commitment and ill will on the part of the federal government was obvious from the fact that not a single project was initiated in KP under CPEC whereas sites of all the power projects and other facilities had not only been identified on the eastern route but their implementation had also been started.