ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday reiterated that the government was committed to transparency, facilitating investors and enabling them to take full advantage of huge potential existing in the “growing” economy of the country.

He was talking to President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Telenor Group Mr Sigve Brekke, who called on him here at the PM Office.

The Prime Minister appreciated Telenor Group’s contribution in the telecom sector and said that government aimed to develop a knowledge-based economy in Pakistan and valued Telenor as an important partner in developing the ecosystem that supported the government’s development agenda.

Sigve Brekke shared with the Prime Minister telenor’s experience of investment in Pakistan terming it as “very satisfactory”.

Sigve Brekke thanked the Government of Pakistan for its continued support for the telecom sector and for encouraging foreign direct investments into the country.

He said that Telenor Group has been operating in Pakistan since 2005 and has made a significant impact on the socioeconomic uplift of the country.

The Group has invested over USD 3.5 billion and created over 5,000 direct jobs, in addition to hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs.

Sigve Brekke informed the Prime Minister that future plans of Telenor include scaling up of financial services, connecting farmers to the digital world and extending its services in healthcare and digital entrepreneurship.

Through these initiatives, employing ICT (Information and Communications Technology) solutions, Telenor aimed at serving the people of Pakistan even better with all the learning they have gathered during past thirteen years, he added.

Brekke also highlighted Telenor’s commitment towards financial inclusion and informed the Prime Minister of incoming investment of USD 140 million as a result of the recently announced partnership with Ant Financial.

On the other side, the prime minister designated Sheikh Rashid Ahmed - Minister for Railways - as the focal person for the decade old stalled 22 km long Leh Nullah Expressway and Flood Channel Project.

“He will spearhead the feasibility of the project and, if found feasible, further processing of the project in consultation with all stakeholders including Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, and the Punjab government,” a letter from the Prime Minister Office said.

The project launched in March 2007 by former president general Pervez Musharraf was aimed at controlling floods in the Nullah Leh, construction of sewerage treatment plant and limited access roads on either side of the storm drainage to ease traffic congestion on the airport and Murree roads, besides easing flow on other local arteries.

Frontier Works Organisation initiated work, but the PML-N government stopped funding in 2008, bringing it to a grinding halt.

Under the original plan the expressway to have two-lane roads on either side of the embankment, was to have interchanges at the Katarian Bridge, Moti Mehal and Ammar Chowk, besides eight flyovers and 10 bridges.

Under the ambitious project a sewerage treatment plant was also to be constructed near Moti Mahal cinema, besides laying of sewerage pipes in those areas of the old Rawalpindi city which either did not have such lines or were in dilapidated condition.

The initial plan of Leh Expressway was designed to line the sides of the old storm water drainage, now turned into an open sewer, with concrete walls and to have a concrete bed for smooth flow of water.

Garbage dumps and sludge caused considerable damage to lives and property every year during the rainy season.