In a big move, Pakistan and China to finalise mega projects worth billions of dollars under CPEC

In a big move, Pakistan and China to finalise mega projects worth billions of dollars under CPEC

ISLAMABAD - In a big move, Pakistan and China to finalise mega projects worth billions of dollars under CPEC.

Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiyar has said Pakistan is committed to take China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to new heights and the PTI Government has increased its volume and scope.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Friday, he said the Pakistan side will take up issues pertaining to ML-I, development of coastal areas, Gwadar Master Plan, and other aspects of CPEC cooperation during the upcoming meeting of Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of CPEC to be held on Wednesday.

Regarding ML-1, the Minister said that this project is being completed at a cost of eight to nine billion dollars which will help improve country's railways system as well as revamping of economy. He said industrial cooperation is the future of CPEC and Pakistan and China have formed a forum of industrialists from both the countries and efforts will be made to operationalize this forum.

The Minister said Western Corridor of CPEC will be discussed in the meeting and hopefully Islamabad-Quetta link be completed in next three years. He said special incentives for Chinese and other investors to attract foreign investment, ways and means of operationalization of Pakistan Steel Mills to meet country's steel requirements will be deliberated in the committee meeting. He said cooperation in sectors like oil and gas, mineral development, housing, tourism and new long term plan will be discussed.

Speaking on the occasion Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said there will be no railway crossing on 1872 kilometer long ML-1 track as the entire route will be fenced. He said the train will run at a speed of 160 kilometers per hour after ML-1 is completed.

Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan said Chinese side will be discussed to invest in energy sector in order to enhance the share of renewable sources in the energy mix to 30 percent by 2030. He said using renewable sources of energy will help bring down bill of imported fuel.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nadeem Babar said government is going to auction more than thirty oil and gas blocks in next twelve months. He said roadshows in this regard have been held in Europe, Russia and Middle East to attract investors to invest in oil and gas blocks. He said during the JCC, Chinese side will be asked to invest in up-gradation of oil refineries as well as construction of new ones to increase refining capacity of the country.

Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said all economic indicators of the country are moving in positive direction due to decisions made by incumbent government. She said the government has allowed the opposition parties to hold a rally in the capital without creating any hurdle as Prime Minister Imran Khan truly believes in strengthening of democracy.