Skip to main content

A new wave of progress for Pakistan under CPEC

Groundbreaking, start of work on dams is big achievement
Work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has picked up pace in the past few months. PHOTO: REUTERS

Work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has picked up pace in the past few months. PHOTO: REUTERS


Work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has picked up pace in the past few months.

We have seen a series of groundbreaking ceremonies and inauguration of completed projects. While every institution is playing its role and deserves appreciation, the real change can be attributed to the CPEC Authority.

The authority has given a fresh impetus to activities and streamlined the work. Though every project is important, the groundbreaking and start of work on dams is the biggest achievement.

Dams will help Pakistan to enhance its storage capacity, which is only 11 million acre feet (MAF) at present. It is lower than the required capacity and can only meet demand for 30 days in case of any emergency.

Estimates suggest that during the period of 1980-2010 Pakistan lost 1,049 MAF of water due to a lack of storage capacity. It was equivalent to 10 years of canal water withdrawal in the country.

Dams have a multiplier effect on the economy in the form of cheap electricity for households and industries, food production and a sustainable flow of water throughout the year. Under CPEC, work has also picked pace on the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Gwadar Port and many social development programmes.

SEZs are the key to materialising the dream of industrialisation. We have witnessed the inauguration of SEZs and acceleration of work on different SEZs. However, there is a need to do a lot more for operationalising the SEZs, especially in terms of policymaking and incentive packages. The business community makes investment decisions on the basis of policies and incentives.

The other critical area is to create backward linkages with the SEZs. Such linkages will be a source of livelihood for many and help to tackle poverty in the respective areas. For instance, the Rashakai SEZ can create business opportunities for the newly merged districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It will help tackle poverty and promote peace through improved economy. The Gwadar Port and Free Economic Zone there have also switched to a faster mode. Gwadar Port has started operations and is facilitating transit trade with Afghanistan.

The transit trade through Gwadar is a step towards regional connectivity and beyond. The government has also announced a special incentive policy for the Free Economic Zone, which will attract investment in coming days. Work on eco-tourism along the coastal line is also in full swing.

Social development projects have also got a fresh impetus. China has already extended $300 million for different programmes this year. It is worthy to note that $100 million has been diverted to agriculture to meet urgent needs of the sector. The areas of housing and healthcare have been offered $100 million each for meeting basic needs of people. The assistance is part of the overall social development programme under CPEC.

However, the government needs to be mindful that all such work will also attract criticism. Opponents of CPEC will try to hinder progress and slow down the speed of project implementation.

A new wave of criticism on dams may start in the name of environment and water rights. Although Pakistan has developed a mechanism for water sharing, such matters will be raised for public debate. Thus, the government needs to be vigilant and work on these lines too.

It is advisable that all the political parties should join hands for a successful implementation of CPEC. The government will have to play the prime role by devising a mechanism for building consensus.

It can consider creating a CPEC planning and execution group comprising representatives of all political parties. The key job of the group will be to steer the decision-making and implementation process.

Second, the government should devise an engagement strategy to counter propaganda. The engagement strategy should not be mixed with the social media strategy and marketing strategy.

Third, the government should gather real-time and verifiable data and disseminate it among all stakeholders. Besides, it should seek suggestions based on facts and in line with development needs of the country.

The writer is the Director of Asia Study Centre, SDPI


Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2020


Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

Historical relationship between Kurd and Baloch.

The Kurds are the ethnical group living in a region known as Kurdistan which is divided into Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. They  are struggling for an independent region since decades and they are famous for their female guerrilla fighters.        On 25 September 2017, the referendum for an independent Kurdish region  was held in Iraq with a turn out of 72 %.   On this important occasion, the historical relation between Kurd and Baloch people is worth discussing.       When it comes to history, every nation tends to find its roots and origin. Same goes with the Baloch people. The Baloch people are always curious  about  finding their roots in history. Even if you  talk to a shepherd in Balochistan, he will be curious to talk about his  tribal or ethnical roots.      The Balochs have always conveyed the history to the next generations in different mediums like poems etc. No Baloch before 20th century had written books on  history  or origin of the Baloch nation .