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Plea for removal of obstacles in CPEC way

Updated July 05, 2018

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QUETTA: Caretaker Chief Minister of Balochistan Allauddin Marri along with the Chinese Consul General Wang Shung addresses a press conference after a roundtable conference on development of Balochistan on Wednesday.—APP
QUETTA: Caretaker Chief Minister of Balochistan Allauddin Marri along with the Chinese Consul General Wang Shung addresses a press conference after a roundtable conference on development of Balochistan on Wednesday.—APP

QUETTA: Chinese officials and investment companies have expressed concern over the ‘hurdles’ in the initiation of development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and called for their removal forthwith.

They said this while speaking at a roundtable conference on development of Balochistan on Wed­nesday, jointly organised by the provincial government and the Balochistan Eco­nomic Forum (BEF).

The moot was attended by caretaker Chief Minister Allauddin Marri, Chinese Consul General in Karachi Wang Shung, MCC President He Xuping, COPHC Chairman Zhang Baozhong, BEF President Sardar Shaukat Aziz Popalzai, Balochistan Invest­­ment Board Chair­man Rohail Baloch, heads of many leading Chinese investment companies and senior government officials.

Chinese speakers said that they were facing difficulties to get NOCs from different government depart­­­ments.

“We are making efforts to get land allotted for projects but still waiting for it,” a Chinese official said.

Briefing the media, CM Marri said the Chinese investors and officials had complained about the slow process of government departments on different matters. He said the Chinese companies and the government departments had some reservations over the multibillion-dollar projects which had been addressed after assurance from both sides.

The chief minister said he had assured the Chinese companies that the government would take steps to resolve the issue at the earliest, adding that some obstacles pointed out by them in the launching of a 300MW coal-fired power plant at Gwadar would be removed within a week or so.

The Chinese counsel general and investors briefed the government on the energy and infrastructure projects and the latter assured the former of providing full security to the companies.

Mr Marri said the Balochistan IG informed the Chinese participants about the security measures taken on the CPEC routes.

The chief minister said that a free-economic zone had been announced in Gwadar and an economic zone for Bostan had also been planned.

In reply to a question, Chinese Consul General Wang Shung said Balochistan was on Chinese government’s priority for developing energy sector and building infrastructure.

“The interim chief minister has assured quick action on our demands,” Wang Shung said.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2018