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Cabinet okays Pak-China economic corridor

Updated February 23, 2015

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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet. — APP/File
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet during its meeting on Monday gave approval for the Pak-China economic corridor. Approval was also given along with for starting negotiations with Beijing for importing 1000 megawatts of electricity from China by laying a new transmission line.

Read: Analysis: China-Pakistan corridor or labyrinth?

The Pak-China Economic Corridor (PCEC) is the country’s biggest road project recently launched by the government. Work on one of the sections of the PCEC was initiated in December last year, under which a motorway from Havelian to Thakot as phase-I of the Islamabad-Raikot section of the corridor would be constructed.

The Havalian to Thakot section of the corridor is being financed by China while other phases will be carried out on the basis of Built Operate and Transfer (BOT).

Know more: Bids invited for Pak-China Economic Corridor project

Also during today's meeting, the cabinet took notice of alleged horse-trading taking place prior to the Senate elections of March.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed that constitutional amendments must be made to make changes in the Senate elections procedure from secret balloting to show of hands.

The premier also constituted a four member legal committee consisting Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Aslam Butt, Federal Minister Anusha Rehman and Special Assistants to the Prime Minister Khawaja Zaheer Ahmad and Barrister Zafarullah Khan. The committee has been tasked with submitting a report by Monday evening regarding reforms to stop horse-trading.

Take a look at: Votes on sale for Senate elections, claims Siraj

He further directed all federal ministers present at the meeting to contact all political parties and brief them on Senate elections reforms.

Also during the meeting, a minute of silence was observed in light of Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas' demise.

The cabinet was also scheduled to be briefed on the country's energy situation. It is expected to give approvals on an agreement for a discounted loan from China for the Karachi Nuclear Power Projects I and II as well as okay loans from Japan in order to carry out energy reforms.

The approval for commencing talks with Afghanistan for an agreement to hold preferential trade was also scheduled to be discussed in the meeting.

Agreements on protection of security-related information with Egypt and exchange of criminals with Malaysia were also on the meeting's agenda.