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CPEC reigns over Pakistan’s Transport and Communication sector: Survey

ISLAMABAD: China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects have heavily influenced the transport and communication (T&C) sector during the outgoing fiscal year with the focus on establishing new communication lines along with building roads and improving the railways.

The new initiatives in T&C sector includes the 820 km-long cross-border fibre optic project (Khunjerab-Rawalpindi), which is expected to be completed in August 2018.

Termed as a driving force, the T&C sector has helped the overall economic and social development of the country according to the Economic Survey 2017-18.

CPEC is to build an efficient transport and communication system that would have a positive influence on the mobility of products, trade stimulation, the extension of markets and an increase in employment, the survey said. The survey also mentions that this development will also be a vital standpoint in the spread of education as well as increase in social welfare and will also help in the stability of prices.

With collaborating in the CPEC, Pakistan is developing its geo-strategic location to build a geo-economic advantage.

According to the Survey “It is a massive bilateral programme to improve soft as well as hard infrastructure within Pakistan for better trade with China and transform the country’s economy through modernization of transport and energy.”

Along with other developments, China and Pakistan have also agreed to establish a dry port at Havelian in Hazara region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

CPEC also plays a vital role in the urban development projects in the country such as the Greater Peshawar Region Mass Transit, Karachi Circular Railway, Orange Line Lahore and Quetta Mass Transit.

The National Highway Authority currently has a network of 39 national highways, motorways, expressway and strategic roads, with a network of 12,131 km.

Revitalization of railways currently holds a top priority for the T&C sector. Railways have noticeably seen a positive development by a margin of 26.7 percent. Further the gross earning have improved a number of passengers increases by 4.7pc, freight handled by 55.8pc during the fiscal year of July-December 2017-18.

The revenues from telecom sector reached Rs235.5 billion during the first two quarters of the outgoing fiscal year. An impressive amount of $322.9 million has been invested by the telecom operators during this period.

According to the survey, the sector contributed Rs78.62bn to the national exchequer in terms of taxes, regulatory fees, initial and annual license fees, activation tax and other charges during the first two quarters of the current Fiscal year.

Pakistan National Shipping Corporation earned profit of Rs 902m before tax deduction while Karachi Port Trust showed an increase of 5.1 pc in goods handling with the breakup of export and import growth at 14.9 pc and 1.6 pc respectively. Port Qasim on the other hand, handled a total volume of 21.36m tonnes.

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