CPEC western route: New details reveal PML (N) government did wrong to the national development

CPEC western route: New details reveal PML (N) government did wrong to the national development

ISLAMABAD - Senate Special Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was informed on Monday that the D.I. Khan-Zhob motorway project of CPEC Western Route is still in the consultancy stage and no actual work has initiated as of today.

This road is the only project of the Western Route that has Chinese component in it and all other development on Western Route will be done through Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) funding, the Committee was told.

The meeting was convened by Senator Sherry Rehman here at the Parliament House and was attended among others by Senators Dr. Sikandar Mandhro, Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Muhammad Ali Shah Jamot, Nuzhat Sadiq, Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan Nasar, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Atta ur Rehman, Samina Saeed, Sitaray Ayaz, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar, Secretary Planning Zafar Hassan, Senior Joint Secretary Tariq Jaffery, Project Director CPEC Ehsan Dawood and other officials from the ministry.

Sherry Rehman took strong cognizance of the fact that the sole CPEC project on Western Project is still in Consultancy stages and no work has completed so far. She along with other members of the Committee sought details on the timelines of this project and decided to call a separate meeting of the Special Committee on the Western Corridor and development work in Gwadar.

Minister for Planning told the Committee that the priorities of different energy related projects have been revisited considering those projects on priority which will use indigenous energy resources and shifting those which require materials to be imported on back burner. This includes packing up of the Coal Power Project in Rahim Yar Khan of 1380 MW because the coal was to be imported and prioritising hydel power projects in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The Committee also sought details of different modes of financing for different projects under CPEC so as to be able to better analyse the nature of every project along with timelines for work progress done so far and for future development.

The Committee was given details of all five components of CPEC which involves the corridor, energy projects, infrastructure development, industrial production and development of Gwadar. The Committee was told that the projects in Gwadar amount to US$780.6 million.

The Minister told the Committee that ML-I (Peshawar to Karachi railway line) is one of the most strategic components of CPEC and has now been put on high priority. He said for any investment to come, the economic viability and flow of traffic has to be considered. Chairperson Committee noted that the prospects of local job creation and identifying the framework of cooperation for every project are of high significance. - APP