ISLAMABAD, June 7 (APP): Another myth is busted with the latest information of jobs created by China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Early Harvest Projects (EHP) as the official data shows that more than 30,000 Pakistani engineers and workers have got direct employment under this corridor project. Perception that only Chinese have been hired by Chinese companies working on CPEC projects is devoid of truth, said officials. According to the data of Planning Commission, around 8000 Chinese are working on these projects. Average strength of Chinese workers never crossed the figure of 25 % of the total employees. It is estimated that the employment opportunities for local youth will maximize with implementation of mega projects in mid to long term of CPEC.
International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that CPEC will support to create around 400,000 jobs while Applied Economics Research Centre (AERC) estimated that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is expected to create over 700,000 direct jobs between 2015 and 2030 and add 2 to 2.5 points to the annual economic growth of the country. The estimates of Planning Commission show that the figure may go much higher as CPEC would generate around 800,000 jobs over the period of next 15 years. Presently, the mega energy projects under CPEC portfolio contributed majority of jobs where 16,000 Pakistanis are hired as laborer and engineers. Port Qasim Coal Power project is the top one which created job opportunities for 5,000 Pakistanis. Sahiwal Coal Power Plant Project and Zonergy Solar Power Project stand second in list with 3,000 jobs each. “Around 300 to 500 engineers are working on these energy projects which would surely help in transfer of knowledge in these sector, thus helping the country to have its own trained human resource” said officials. With implementation of two more project in energy sector; Sukki Kinari and Karot, would generate around 6,000 jobs for Pakistani engineers and workers. “Huge number of Pakistani civil and electrical engineers could grab this opportunity where hydropower projects are under execution” said officials. Besides, energy portfolio, CPEC Transport Infrastructure Sector stands second in creating around 13,000 jobs for locals. The data shows that 9,800 Pakistanis are working on Peshawar-Karachi Motorway (Multan Sukkur Section), a biggest infrastructure project under CPEC.
The data further shows that KKH Phase II Havelian provided jobs to 2071 locals, Orange Line Metro Lahore created employment for 956 people and Fiber Optic project created 580 posts for Pakistanis. Development of Free zone project at Gwadar has created 404 direct jobs with additional 2,000 indirect employment. It is estimated that this project would create thousands of job opportunities for locals; soon it is made fully functional with establishment of different industries here. The figures could grow significantly with more infrastructure projects expected to begin this year. Construction work on ML-1 project of Pakistan Railway, Gwadar Airport, Eastbay Expressway at Gwadar and other road projects are starting this as framework agreements of these projects have been signed by both side during One Built One Road Summit at China this month. “These projects could further create around 10,000 to 15,000 direct jobs this year” officials estimated. They said that facts and figure clearly indicated that more than 75 percent Pakistanis are employed on CPEC projects, a fact which is contrary to the propaganda being spread by anti CPEC forces. “All the companies try its level best to look for local engineers and laborers, fulfilling the social responsibility” said officials. In addition, CPEC projects being implemented through Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), particularly Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan Motorway Project has also generated thousands of jobs for Pakistani workers. Besides, such a huge direct employment, the CPEC projects which are in construction phase have created thousands of indirect jobs and brought a boom for construction industry as steel and cement manufacturers are fully engaged in multiplying their production. “This is a start. Thousands of jobs in construction phase would be created specifically for the locals” said officials, saying that the industrial cooperation phase to be started soon, would be a real game changer. Relocation of Chinese industries could create hundred thousands of jobs for Pakistan skilled and non-skilled workers.