Agreement to develop Rashkai economic zone on cards

Updated 13 Dec 2019

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The Economic Zones Development and Management Company is in contact with the state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation for the early finalisation of an agreement to develop the Rashkai Special Economic Zone, said officials on Thursday. — AP/File
The Economic Zones Development and Management Company is in contact with the state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation for the early finalisation of an agreement to develop the Rashkai Special Economic Zone, said officials on Thursday. — AP/File

PESHAWAR: The Economic Zones Development and Management Company is in contact with the state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation for the early finalisation of an agreement to develop the Rashkai Special Economic Zone, said officials on Thursday.

The officials told a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan here that the CRBC team was likely to visit Islamabad later this month to finalise the revised development agreement for the Rashkai Special Economic Zone.

The Rashkai SEZ was one of the nine economic zones being set up across the country under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. Located in Nowshera district, the proposed industrial zone will be spread over 778 acres of land and will be developed in three phases over six years.

A statement issued here quoted the chief minister as saying speedy arrangements should be made for the approval of the development agreement from the relevant board so that formal inauguration of development work on the project could be initiated.

Officials tell CM Chinese firm, EZDMC set to finalise accord

“All arrangements should be completed within the stipulated timelines in order to ensure formal groundbreaking of the Rashakai SEZ making it clear that no extension in the timeline would be allowed for this purpose.

“All stakeholders should fulfil their responsibilities in time so that the project can be executed at a rapid pace in line with the priorities of the provincial government,” he said.

The chief minister said a high-level meeting of the relevant authorities would be convened next week to ensure the timely provision of electricity and gas to industrialists in the SEZ.

The meeting was briefed about the joint venture, framework of concession and development agreements for the Rashakai SEZ, the expected economic impact of the project and the overall progress made so far on the project.

The officials said the development work of SEZ would be completed in a phased manner, while the joint venture had been set up under the public-private partnership for the implementation of the project.

They said work on the roads had already been initiated to ensure an easy access to the economic zone, while PC-I had been approved by the Departmental Development Working Party to provide electricity to the industrialists at an estimated cost of Rs1.8 billion.

The officials said PC-I had been presented to the SNGPL for the supply of gas, however timely cooperation of the concerned federal departments is essential to provide the facilities of electricity and gas without any delay.

The chief minister said a high-level meeting should be called with the representatives of all relevant departments attending it to address pending issues, while supply of power and gas should be ensured within the specified timeline in accordance with the suggested timelines.

He said the speedy development of Rashakai SEZ was the top most priority of the government and for the purpose, all stakeholders should fulfil their responsibilities in a timely manner.

The chief minister directed the EZDMC to undertake pragmatic steps for the purpose and said there would be no space for any extension of timelines in that respect. Senior PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, finance minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra, adviser to the chief minister on energy and power Himayatullah Khan, special assistant on industries Abdul Karim, principal secretary to the chief minister Shahab Ali Shah, acting chief executive officer of the EZDMC and administrative secretaries of the relevant departments attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2019