ISLAMABAD, Jan 20: Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Prof Ahsan Iqbal has said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) enabled the present government to save the country on the brink of civil war-like situation due to crippling energy crisis persisting till 2013.
“We should remember the times in 2013 when the country had been facing 18 to 20 hours of power load shedding and labourers were protesting on streets creating a civil war-like situation due to near shut down of the industries while now load shedding has been curtailed by four to six hours daily,” said the federal minister. Federal Planning and Development Minister stated this here on Friday as he was the addressing as the chief guest at 9th International CSR Summit and Awards-2017 organized by National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH).
Federal minister said that owing to investment received through CPEC project the present government was going to add record 11,000 Megawatts electricity to national grid by 2018
He said that owing to new energy projects launched by the present govt, industries in the country had been given uninterrupted power supply for one last year
He said that without energy projects being initiated under the CPEC, the power load shedding crisis in the country could have amplified to 24 hours.
He said that without CPEC being built in the country even the prosperous sections of the society could have become impoverished as CPEC-related projects had reinvigorated economy of the country.
Prof Ahsan Iqbal said the reinvigoration of the economy had been possible through ample generation of electricity, which was vital for running of business and industries that in turn would give way to job creation, socio-economic uplift, and poverty alleviation in the society.
He said that it was a major achievement of the government that by 2018 it was going to add 11,000 MWs electricity to national grid while by the year 2013, the country in its existence of previous 66 years could only able to add just 17,000 MWs electricity.
He said the country had been facing up to 4,500 incidents of terrorism in a year till 2013, which had now decreased to mere 450 such terrorist activities.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, who was guest of honour on the occasion, said the country like every other year was facing multitude of national level challenges and crises due to recurring natural calamities and man-made disasters.
He said that although the present government had the utmost resolve to uplift socio-economic conditions of masses especially in aspects of health, education, and poverty alleviation causes but it did required support of private sector and civil society to effectively combat the challenges getting serious to increase in population and unemployment in society.
Earlier speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the summit, Syed Abu Ahmad Akif, Federal Secretary for Ministry of Climate Change, quoted 19th century’s renowned American businessmen Andrew Carnegie considered as first billionaire of the world who had said that “To die rich is to die in disgrace”.
He said the as per the vision of the American billionaire industrialist, the history would not remember any one for being rich but would surely do register a person who donated his wealth for charitable causes in his life time.
He said the concept of CSR had been enhanced globally as in present times it was called Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility as corporate entities should also take care of the environment as it encompassed everything available in the society.
The secretary Climate Change mentioned the recently launched Rs 04 billion Green Pakistan initiative of prime minister to promote and conserve forestry and wildlife resources in the country.
Mian Shaukat Masud, Vice-President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, said the FPCCI had several standing committees to look after health, education, non-formal education, vocational training and several other aspects of socio-economic development of society.
He said that many leading universities, colleges, research institutes in the country had been founded by industrialists and businessmen as part of their vision to do CSR-related work even before creation of Pakistan.
He said the DJ College, NED University, Adamjee College, and LUMS were some of the leading examples of magnificent educational institutions established by businessmen under their vision to do philanthropy in the society.
But he conceded the situation that a lot had to be done by a number of companies in the country in the field of corporate philanthropy as at least one per cent budget of any commercial entity could be reserved for doing philanthropic work.
The FPCCI Vice-President believed that every company in Pakistan could easily adopt a school to entirely finance and run its affairs. \
NFEH President M. Naeem Qureshi that his forum had been supporting corporate sector to do philanthropy and invest in socio economic sectors since 2007.
Brig (retd) Tarique Lakhair, a general manager at Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company, said that coal mining and related power generation projects in backward area of Thar had given way to a number of welfare initiatives to uplift standards of living of its residents.
He nullified the impression that Pakistan had started exploring the option of indigenously available coal for power generation when globally use of coal for energy production was being shunned due to environmental concerns.
Meanwhile, some 55 leading companies and organizations of the country received the annual CSR awards on basis of their outstanding performance in the arena of social sector development mainly for underprivileged masses.
One salient feature of the award ceremony was special CSR award given to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital and Cancer Research Centre received by its Chief Executive Officer Dr. Faisal Sultan to recognize services of the hospital in curing various cancerous diseases in the country over last many years. Another prominent feature of the ceremony was Life Time Achievement Award given to famous humorous poet Anwar Masood.