Khusro chairs 58th progress review meeting to discuss CPEC progress
ISLAMABAD (APP): The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) review meeting Friday deliberated upon issues confronting different projects under CPEC decided to fast track their resolution for timely completion of all projects. Minister for Planning underlined the need for meeting the projects’ timelines and called for further gearing up the momentum in CPEC projects. The 58th progress review meeting of CPEC projects was held here under the Chairmanship of Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Mukhdum Khusro Bakhtyar. The minister underlined the need for meeting projects’ timelines and called for further gearing up the momentum in CPEC projects.
He said CPEC, as stated by Prime Minister Imran Khan, is a project of great national significant for Pakistan which will be a harbinger of development and prosperity for Pakistan and the region. Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, DCPC Dr. Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, representatives from Chinese enterprises and senior officials from relevant ministries also attended the meeting.
The Minister said that the incumbent Government, in consultation with the Government of China, has succeeded in expanding its scope to include other priority areas under its framework including socio-economic development, poverty alleviation, agricultural and industrial cooperation. The second phase, as envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan, will focus, among others, on welfare projects for the betterment of the people of Pakistan and we are thankful to the Government of China for broadening its framework which will contribute to the sustained development of Pakistan, stated the Minister.
The Minister reiterated that the Government remains fully committed to realize the potential and opportunities under CPEC framework. Speaking on the occasion, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said that CPEC is heading in the right direction adding that CPEC is quite different from other Belt and Road initiatives as this flagship project manifests the longstanding friendship between the two friendly countries and will bring prosperity and progress for Pakistan. CPEC is a product of vision of two brotherly countries that goes beyond traditional business dealings reflecting decades old strong bonds of bilateral cooperation and shared goals with win-win situation for all. He stressed that the project will continue to progress on expedited pace, as reiterated by Prime Minister Imran Khan in his recent meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister, for timely completion of all projects. During the meeting, various projects of CPEC were discussed in detail one by one.
Secretary Power informed that the synchronized demand-supply study of CPEC energy projects will be firmed up by October 2019. NEPRA said that all pending tariff issues including of of Port Qasim and Gwadar 300 MW coal project will be resolved soon. Talking about Kohala Hydro power project, the minister said that it is an important project and expressed gratitude to the Government of China and Three Gorges for extending cooperation in this regard. It was decided that process for establishing appellate tribunal will be expedited to resolve future tariff issues of energy projects. It was informed that the Gwadar development Authority, headed by Chief Minister Balochistan, has approved the Gwadar city master plan with some minor modifications.
Secretary Communications informed that Multan-Sukkur motorway will be opened soon for general traffic as the work was almost complete. The Minister and the Chinese ambassador appreciated the pace of work on the East Bay Expressway project. Orange Line Train project and ongoing projects in Gwadar were also deliberated upon in detail.
The Minister said that SEZs would help in boosting Pakistan’s exports and achieving sustainable economic growth. Meanwhile, CPEC, the flagship of BRI has not only helped Pakistan improve its infrastructure and economic indicators but also greatly eased the energy crisis, former Ambassador to China, Khalid Mahmoud said. In an interview with a Chinese media website ‘jfdaily.com’ at the 8th World China Studies Forum, Mahmoud confirmed the role and influence of the CPEC and also made positive comments on China’s foreign relations and international status.