ISLAMABAD: The second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) would generate over 1.5 million job opportunities in the country. About 575,000 direct and over 1 million indirect jobs would be created in the second phase of CPEC, which involves the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to be set up in each province of Pakistan. “We have conducted a study to assess employment opportunities in four out of nine SEZs including KP’s Rashakai, Sindh’s Dhabeji, Punjab’s Allama Iqbal and Balochistan’s Bostan, with the state-run National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) to find out potential jobs and industries in the SEZs,” said Muhammad Muzammil Zia, policy head of job growth and human resource development in the Islamabad-based think-tank under the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, quoted Xinhua. Sharing the initial details of the possible industries in the SEZs, Zia said the major industries in Punjab’s Allama Iqbal SEZ are expected to be textile, light engineering, pharmaceutical, steel, food processing and chemicals with a potential to create 290,000 direct jobs. Whereas, KP’s Rashakai SEZ whose groundbreaking is likely to take place in December this year is likely to directly employ 150,000 people in light engineering, marble, plastic and packing, gem and jewelry, food processing and steel industries. Menawhile, Balochistan’s Bostan SEZ is likely to produce 55,000 jobs in industries including food processing, cooking oil, ceramics, gems and jewelry, marble, minerals, agriculture machinery, iron and steel, motorbike assembling, electrical appliances and automobile. Whereas, Sindh’s Dhabeji SEZ has a potential to create 80,000 jobs, he informed. Earlier, it was learnt that CPEC’s energy projects have contributed $250 million in taxes and provided 10,000 jobs by adding 14.5 percent of the total electricity output in NTDC system so far. As per the official documents, CPEC energy cooperation has increased power supply in Pakistan. Power generation of CPEC projects reached 17.728 billion kWh, 14.5 percent of the total output in the NTDC system, which could supply over 33 million people on per capital power use basis. The under-construction Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan Motorway project, part of the western alignment of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is likely to be completed by June next year. An official of National Highway Authority (NHA) told APP on Tuesday that the motorway would reduce travel time between Islamabad and Dera Ismail Khan and boost economic activities in less developed areas of the provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The four-lane 285-kilometre north-south motorway starts from the Hakla on Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway, near Fateh Jang interchange, and termites at Yarik near Dera Ismail Khan. From Hakla, Fateh Jang, the motorway extends in a southwestern direction passing the towns of Pindi Gheb, Tarap, and Mianwali. Then the route will transverse the Sindh Sagar Doab region, and cross the Indus River near Dhup Sarri village near Isa Khail before entering into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The motorway will continue onwards before terminating near the town of Yarik, north of Dera Ismail Khan. For ensuring timely completion, he said, the Hakla-D I Khan Motorway had been divided into five sections including Yarik-Rehmani Khail section, Rehmani Khail-Kot Belian section, Kot Belian-Tarap section, Tarap-Pindi Gheb section and Pindi Gheb-Hakla Interchange section. He said the motorway includes 11 interchanges, 19 flyovers (6 lanes), 15 bridges (4 lane), 74 underpasses, 259 culverts, and three major bridges (6 lane); one at River Swan, one at River Indus and third at River Koram. The motoway will have a 100m wide right of way in order to widen the four-lane road to six lanes in future. He said work on the 55-kilometre Yarik-Rehmanikhel section awarded to M/s NLC, started in October 2016. The cost of the project funded by the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), is Rs12,758 million and so far over 80 per cent physical progress has been achieved. He said that about 60 km Package-II of the motorway namely Rehmanikhel-Kot Belian package which had been awarded to M/s SKB-KNK JV had further been divided into two sections. One of its section has almost been completed while about 30 per cent physical progress of its other section has been achieved. The NHA official said Package-III of the motorway, 55-kilometre Kot Belian-Tarap section has been awarded to M/s FWO. The package will cost Rs20618.94 million and so far over 52 per cent physical progress has been achieved. Work on the package, he said, started in October 2016. He said the 62-kilometre Tarap-Pindi Gheb section had been awarded to M/s Limak-ZKB JV and the section would cost Rs21386.22 million. Its work started in November 2016 and so far 50 per cent physical progress of the package has been achieved. He said the 63-km Package-V Pindi Gheb-Hakla Interchange section costing Rs16845.80 million had been awarded to M/s Limak-ZKB JV. Its construction started in January 2017 and so far 44 per cent physical progress saqhs been achieved. Work on the package started in January 2017 and was scheduled to be completed by end of January this year but so far less than 40 per cent physical progress could be achieved.