PESHAWAR: The leaders of Khyber Pakthunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) and politicians here Thursday welcomed the launching of Central Asia South Asia (CASA-1000) electricity project during the historic visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Tajkistan.
They termed it a landmark step towards revitalization of energy-starved economy of our country besides promote trade and generating employment opportunities for people.
Talking to APP, Fawad Ishaq, former President KPCCI welcomed the launching of CASA-1000 electricity project and declared it extremely important for the economic, trade, employment generation and energy perspective of the country.
"As we all know that our country's economy was energy-starved and with successful execution of this mega energy project, Pakistan economy would get upward growth due to easy availability of electricity on inexpensive rates besides increasing overall production of the existing economic and industrial units in the country," he said and adding it would help bringing massive improvement in the KP transport, economy and energy infrastructure besides attracting direct foreign investment.
Fawad Ishaq said the overall production efficiency of KP industrial units was currently about 60 to 65 percent due to the problem of energy shortfall and this production could be enhanced by 100 percent through availability of uninterrupted inexpensive electricity to industrial units for which CASA-1000 project carried immense importance.
Pakistan, under CASA-1000, would be able to obtain 1,000 MW of electricity generated by Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan via Afghanistan besides getting 300 MW of the total 1,300 MW. The transmission line originates from Kyrgyzstan with substation at Datka to Tajikistan's four substations including Sughda, Dushanbe, Regar and Sangtuda and then passing through Afghanistan to Pakistan with a converter station at Nowshera.
Following CPEC, it was another mega project that would make Pakistan an economic and investment hub, Fawad said, adding this project has the potential to inject new life into the regional economies and accelerate pace of development in the region.
The KPCCI former President said unemployment was a big problem and starting practical work on this project would help to generate employment opportunities.
Rushad Khan, Member Provincial Assembly also welcomed CASA-1000 electricity project and termed it another gift of PML-N Government for people of Pakistan.
The launching of the project demonstrated the success of PML-N Govt's foreign and economic policies, he said, adding time was not for away when Pakistan would achieve the status of energy surplus country.
Rushad Khan said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif soon after coming into power, accorded high priority to address the inherited problem of energy shortfall and the launching of CASA-1000 energy project was a momentous step towards this direction.
The PML-N leader said Prime Minister was working for progress and prosperity of Pakistan besides addressing the core issues such energy shortfall. He said people are fed up with politics of sit in and agitation as they wanted solution of their problems such as loadshedding. He said CASA-1000 energy project would address the problem of loadshedding once and for all.
While terming the project an important milestone of regional integration between Central Asia and South Asia, the MPA said it was a significant step towards realization of the planned Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Market (CASAREM).
"I think this mega project is a win-win for all four countries for achieving a number of economic, social and environmental benefits besides reduction of energy deficit, promoting trade and investment, creation of jobs and improvement in economic activities," he added.
He said Pakistan would make a lead role in the security, commerce, trade and economy of the region once the Gwadar sea port becomes operational and the problem of energy shortfall is addressed.