Federal minister for Planning Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has expressed his satisfaction over the work being done under the CPEC framework and has once again stressed that the Early Harvest Projects would be completed at fast pace. According to an article that appeared in the Nation newspaper of 6th June 2017, these harvest projects created around 38000 proposed jobs, out of which around 8000 (less than 25%) were given to the Chinese workers while remaining 30,000 jobs provided direct employment opportunities for Pakistani engineers and workers. The source also said that the majority of these jobs (around 16000) were contributed by the energy projects bolstering the CPEC initiative, namely Port Qasim Coal Power project, Sahiwal coal plant and Zonergy solar power plant. Meanwhile, 300 to 500 engineers are working on the transfer of technical knowledge from the Chinese to the locals so that Pakistan can have its own trained Human resource and workforce in the near future. Official sources have also claimed that the implementation of the CPEC energy plan and construction of two more energy projects, Sukki kinari and Karot, would create 6000 more jobs. “A huge number of Pakistani civil and electrical engineers could grab this opportunity where hydropower projects are under execution,” said officials.
The transport infrastructure sector comes second in creating jobs for the locals. Around 13000 have been provided by this sector, from which 9800 jobs were created by Peshawar-Karachi motorway (Multan to Sukkur section) alone. Under CPEC route construction plan, Karakoram Highway Phase-II Havelian employed 2071 locals and the fiber optic project created 580 jobs for Pakistanis. 956 other jobs were provided by the Orange line Metro project Lahore.
The development of the Free Zone Gwadar has created more than 2000 direct and indirect jobs and this project would soon deliver thousands of additional jobs for locals. Moreover ongoing industrial, commercial and residential projects of the Gwadar Master Plan like FTBA, GDA-3 and, Savaira city have provided jobs to many skilled and unskilled workers. New infrastructure projects are expected to begin this year, resulting in an immense increase in employment opportunities. During the One-Built, One-Road summit in china last month, agreements for projects like ML-1 project of Pakistan Railway, Gwadar airport, Eastbay Expressway and other road projects were signed and soon these would be ready to support the employment sector of the country. “These projects could further create up to 15,000 direct jobs this year,” officials said.
According to the international labour organisation, CPEC would bring 400000 jobs to the country while the Applied Economic Research Centre has estimated that the mega initiative would provide around 700000 direct jobs between 2015 and 2030. The Planning Commission’s data shows even more promising results, with CPEC generating around 800000 jobs in the next 15 years. Pakistan is about to gain a lot from these opportunities as there would also be a noteworthy increase in the annual economic growth of the country.