Parvez JabriMarch 13, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said the Cabinet Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has decided to establish CPEC Business Forum to tap true potential of this important corridor.
Talking to media after the committee meeting, the minister said that the formation of the forum was being deliberated since long and now its establishment has formally been decided.
He said that members of the forum have already been finalized which would included representatives from business sectors, chambers, business councils and other sectors of economy.
The minister said that the cabinet committee decided to enhance industrial cooperation and involve private sector. “The true potential of CPEC could not be materialized unless we promote industrial cooperation,” the minister said adding that the industrial cooperation would help enhance exports and reduce imports.
He said that since CPEC was much related to government levels and there was a missing link to involve private sector and its involvement would help take full benefit of CPEC.
The minister said that although progress and pace of work on Gwadar project was not made up to the expectations for last 3 to 4 year, however revealed that Gwadar International Airport would be inaugurated by the end of this month.
He said the project for generating 300 megawatt electricity for Gwadar would also be completed on priority.
The minister said there was also less progress on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) during last four years, adding, the Rashakai agreement would be finalized by March 25 and would be signed between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and China soon.
He said that the groundbreaking of the Rashakai Special Economic Zone would be made during the first half of next month (April).
The Minister said that scope of CPEC has been extended to other sectors of economy and agriculture sector would be promoted under this project.
He said the China would be providing US $1 billion grant for social sector development which would be spent on education, health and for provision of clean drinking water in backward areas of provinces.
In addition, this grant would also help establishment of vocational training projects.
The minister said areas which were neglected earlier in Western Corridor and Gwadar projects would be taken forward on priority.
He clarified that no funds of CPEC were diverted to other projects, adding that all the ongoing projects of CPEC were fully funded.
To a question, the minister said about 60 percent financing has been made on Hakla-Dere Ismail Khan which would be completed at any cost.
To another question, he said that currently US $ 28 billion projects were underway under CPEC.
The minister termed the ML1 Railway track as an important project and said that it would be completed in phases.
He said that a committee has already been constituted under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Railways for the purpose.
He added that work on Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway would be initiated within next six to eight months.