‘Work on TAPI gas pipeline project underway’

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the government is taking steps to address the shortage of natural gas.

Chairing a high-level meeting with a delegation of the business community here at the PM Office on Friday, he directed the authorities concerned to start planning new industrial units as his government was rapidly working on meeting the shortage of electricity and gas from the country.

He said work was already underway for receiving natural gas from Turkmenistan through the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

He said he has been invited in December for the ground-breaking ceremony of the project, which would be completed in next four years. He said work on Sukkur to Multan motorway was started and roads across the country were under construction.

– Strategy to boost exports –

Terming exports essential for the country’s prosperity, Nawaz Sharif said that a strategy would be worked out soon to boost exports. He said the strategy would be chalked out in light of the recommendations of the businessmen and exporters. The meeting discussed various initiatives to improve quality and competitiveness of Pakistani exports.

He said that despite insufficient resources, the government was determined to resolve the problems of businessmen and farmers. He stressed the need for joint efforts at public and private levels to give a boost to the country’s exports.

He regretted that Pakistan did not make any substantial progress in exports during last several years and also lagged behind other countries in the region in this sector. He said the purpose of the meeting was to brainstorm over the ways to enhance exports.

– Promotion of tax culture –

The prime minister said that the government was against receiving aid from other countries and stressed that promotion of tax culture would help strengthen the economy. “If you want to see Pakistan prosperous and self-reliant, give tax and strengthen the state,” he added.

He said transparency had been the hallmark of the government since it came to power. He expressed gratitude to Allah Almighty for the economic turnaround that his government had been able to achieve. He said major decisions were taken particularly to improve the power sector.

Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and State Minister for Privatisation Khurram Dastagir – among others – attended the meeting.

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