Govt explores “Gateway of Prosperity” under CPEC to boost Railways

Islamabad: The government is expanding the scope of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to explore the “Gateway of Prosperity” for both countries and the region at large through advancement of Railways sector.

According to the Economic Survey 2021-22 launched by Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail along with Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Power Khurram Dastgir and Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha, the government considered CPEC as a long-term development project as it has the potential to serve as a corridor with multiple doors connecting China with Central Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe.

The survey said the Chinese and Pakistani workforce, in a large number, was employed to ensure timely completion of the infrastructure projects and launched new projects such as Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway (M-6), Peshawar-D.I.Khan Motorway (M-14), KKH Alternative Route (Gilgit-Shandor-Chitral), Swat Expressway (Phase-II), Dir Expressway, Karachi Circular Railways.

Pakistan Railways was one of the key modes of transport in the public sector which promoted national integration and economic growth.

Pakistan Railways comprised of a total of 466 locomotives for 7,791 km route length. During July-March FY2022, the gross earnings of railways were recorded at Rs 43,731.59 million, it added. The Modern transportation and communication system was one of the key inputs for achieving sustainable economic growth.

“A network of roads, highways, motorways, sea ports, and airlines in a country makes it a center of economic activity by attracting investment, raising productivity and reducing cost of doing business,” it said.

The government was committed to upgrade the transportation and communication system with the development of new roads, highways motorways, railway tracks and airports to improve connectivity under CPEC. The CPEC was pragmatic step for converting unique geo-strategic location of Pakistan into geo-economics through various transport related projects that would transform road infrastructure of Pakistan and improve access to central Asian, African and European states, it added.