ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has directed to ensure the groundbreaking of the first SEZ project under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at Faisalabad before the end of the calendar year. According to a press release issued by Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, the work expedited on two SEZs projects including Rashakai and Dhabeji with an aim to achieve the goal of their groundbreaking within the current financial year. The Minister chaired separate meetings to review the progress on CPEC and PSDP funded projects, here at Islamabad. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan and senior officials of the ministry were also present in the meetings. The Minister received a detailed briefing on the PSDP funded projects. It was noted that the fund release mechanism had been made much easier in the recent months and the line Ministries could had much greater independence in spending their development budgets. The Minister said that the Ministries and Departments must make sure that they make use of this opportunity and complete their projects on time. He emphasized that effective monitoring and evaluation of the projects, was essential to ensure their smooth and timely implementation. He also directed that a greater focus effort be made to identify innovative funding mechanisms to finance the infrastructure projects. While chairing the meeting on CPEC, the Minister was given a detailed briefing on the completed, on-going and pipeline projects under the bilateral program. The Minister expressed satisfaction on the progress of various under-construction projects. He emphasized that in the new phase of CPEC the focus would be on enhancing the economic cooperation whereby business linkages and value chains would be developed, benefiting both sides. The Minister separately reviewed the progress of various planned SEZs under CPEC. The Minister instructed all the relevant departments to expedited work on the SEZ especially those at Rashakai, Dhabeji and Faisalabad, where some work had already been done. He directed that the groundbreaking of the first SEZ under the CPEC at Faisalabad be ensured before the end of the calendar year and necessary work be expedited to achieve groundbreaking of the two more SEZs at Rashakai and Dhabeji within the current financial year. The representatives of Ministries of Petroleum and Power assured the Minister that they would provide full support to these projects and complete the electricity and gas supply projects expeditiously. While reviewing the PSDP-funded projects, the minister noted that the fund release mechanism had been made much easier in recent months and the ministries concerned could enjoy greater independence in spending their development budgets. He asked the ministries to use this opportunity coming out of revised disbursement mechanism and complete their projects within the due time. An official statement said the minister emphasised effective monitoring and evaluation of the projects to ensure their smooth and timely implementation. He also directed the concerned officials to ensure greater focus on identifying innovative funding mechanisms to finance infrastructure projects and attract private sector participation in public sector projects. The minister was also given a briefing on the completed and ongoing projects in pipeline under the CPEC. The minister expressed satisfaction on progress of various under construction projects. value chains would be developed, benefiting both sides.