LAHORE: Exim Bank of China on Monday signed an agreement with the government for the provision of funds for Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project.
In this regard, a ceremony was held at Chief Minister’s Office. Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was chief guest at the ceremony.
Under the agreement, Exim Bank of China will provide funds of 162 billion rupees on soft terms for Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project.
Federal Secretary Economic Affairs Tariq Bajwa and Vice-president of Exim Bank Sun Ping signed the documents. Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister Planning &Development Ahsan Iqbal, Charge d affaires of Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, Pakistani Ambassador in China Khalid Masood,Provincial Minister Finance Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Provincial Ministers, Assembly Members, Chief Secretary, prominent industrialists, bankers, intellectuals, columnists and senior officers of federal and provincial institutions were present on the occasion.
Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that today is an important juncture in the friendship between China and Pakistan as an agreement is being signed for the provision of funds for orange line metro train project.
He said that the splendid project of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train is an invaluable gift of Chinese government and leadership for 18 crore people of Pakistan.
He said that this project reflects the full confidence of Chinese leadership in Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and the love for people of Pakistan.
He said that today is a historic day towards provision of a most modern transport system in Pakistan and metro train project is a unique and the first project in the history of Pakistan. He said that this project is a milestone in Pak-China friendship.
He said that Pakistan and China are great friends and in the glorious examples of the friendship between the two countries will be written in golden letters. However, he said that the process of close economic cooperation between the two countries started two and a half years ago is spreading to every corner of Pakistan.
He said that by extending help to Pakistan in the hour of need, China has proved to be reliable and sincere friend of Pakistan and credit for taking Pak-China friendship to new heights goes to the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
The Chief Minister said that the project of orange line metro train is an important step towards modern transport system and work has been started expeditiously on the civil works of this unique project in the history of the country.
Shahbaz Sharif congratulated the people of Pakistan over signing of agreements for the provision of funds for the historic project of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train and said that after completion of this project, 2.5 lakh people will travel by metro train daily and their number will gradually increase.
He said that this project is not of Lahore or Punjab but of the whole country. He said that under the agreement, the project will be completed during 27 months but every effort will be made for its completion within 24 months and the verbal commitment has been made with Chinese authorities in this regard.
He further said that Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project is also important in this respect that it will result in transfer of Chinese technology to Pakistan and creation of lakhs of job opportunities.
He said that the agreements signed between governments in the Chinese history, Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project is the first project the civil works of which has been given to the other government. He said that this extraordinary and historic step of China is unprecedented.
The Chief Minister said that due to this decision of China, the civil works of the project are being carried out by the Punjab government which reflects the confidence of China in the abilities and capabilities of Pakistanis construction companies.
He said that due to giving the task of civil works to the Punjab government by China it will promote the experiences of Punjab in the execution of such projects as well as its confidence with regard to mega projects in construction sector.
He said that by utilizing its technology, such projects could be implemented in other cities. Shahbaz Sharif further said that China Railway and NORINCO can subcontract electrical and mechanical works to Pakistani companies.
He said that Pak-China friendship based on mutual love and brotherhood and this friendship is spreading towards every corner of the country. He said that China is such a sincere friend of Pakistan which wants progress and prosperity of the country.
The Chief Minister said that China has extended all out cooperation for the progress of Pakistan. He said that the journey of friendship and cooperation between the two countries is continuing successfully and is reaching every part of Pakistan.
Shahbaz Sharif said that under China Pakistan Economic Corridor, China is making an investment of 46 billion dollars in Pakistan and out of which, 36 billion dollars are being spent only on energy projects.
He said that people of Pakistan can never forget the close friendship and economic cooperation of China. He said that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang have given a number of gifts to Pakistan out of which CPEC project and Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project are unique.
He said that these projects will always be remembered as living examples of China-Pakistan friendship. He said that metro train project will play an important role in the promotion of Pak-China ties.
He said that Chinese President and Prime Minister have stated that Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project is a gift of China to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and people of Pakistan and Lahore and Pakistan deeply appreciate this glorious vision of Chinese leadership.
Shahbaz Sharif said that with regard to the cost, Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project is the biggest project of Punjab and China has provided funds for the project on extremely soft terms. He said that the agreement of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project was signed in May last year and the reason for delay in the project is the sit-ins of last year.
Shahbaz Sharif said that Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project is the result of the tireless efforts and hard work of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, his team as well as China Railway and NORINCO Company.
He also thanked federal government for its cooperation and the entire team of Punjab government, Chief Secretary, Managing Director Punjab Metro Bus Authority, Kh. AhmedHasaan, Provincial Ministers, Pakistani Ambassador to China Khalid Masood, Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and all concerned authorities for their cooperation.
He also expressed gratitude to Vice President Exim Bank for the provision of funds for this project. He said that lot of time of the nation has been wasted during the last 68 years, however, it will be made up through acting upon the golden principles of honesty, commitment and hard work.
Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar while addressing the ceremony said that today is a historic day for the people of Pakistan especially Punjab as under the leadership of Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif an agreement for the funding of a big project for infrastructure is being signed.
He congratulated Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.
Vice President of Exim Bank of China said that Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif visited China a number of times for giving a practical shape to this project and he also came to Exim Bank.
He said that the governments of Pakistan and China have jointly furthered this project and will work together in future as well so that this project could be given a practical shape as soon as possible.