ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said the ongoing development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) should be completed on a fast-track basis and directed to give final shape to the consultation process of the future plans on priority.
Lauding the time-tested friendship with the northern neighbour, he said China had always supported Pakistan during the difficult times and CPEC was a manifestation of the multi-dimensional partnership between the two countries.
He also observed that Chinese experiences in the social sector, especially for the eradication of poverty and promotion of agriculture, must be fully explored, Prime Minister Office Media Wing in a press release said.
The prime minister was chairing a high-level review meeting to ascertain progress on different CPEC projects. Revenue Minister Hammad Azhar, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Maritime Minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Naya Pakistan Housing Programme Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Anwar Ali Haider and other senior officials also attended.
The premier directed the CPEC Authority to accelerate implementation pace on different projects under the second phase on priority.
Giving direction for early finalisation and completion of the projects, Khan asked the relevant ministries to set completion period and emphasised upon making the inter-ministerial coordination more effective to achieve desired results within the appointed time frame.
He also directed to brief him in the upcoming review meeting on the projects falling under the CPEC second phase, including their completion period, implementation, removal of hurdles and the future mechanism.
The prime minister was briefed in detail over the progress on the short, medium and long-term CPEC projects.
The meeting was apprised about the first phase of CPEC projects in energy, road and rail networks and Gwadar Port, and the second phase schemes, including industrialisation cooperation, promotion of agriculture, social and economic progress, tourism and others.
It was informed that majority of the projects in the energy and road networks had been completed whereas work on the Gwadar Port and airport was under progress phase-wise.
The Orange Line project was completed while consultation process over feasibility of Quetta railway was underway.
Khan had already laid the foundation stone of the Allama Iqbal Special Economic Zone while Rashakai’s was expected in the next month.
The bidding process for Dhabeji Economic Zone would be completed soon, it was further informed.
The meeting also took stock of different recommendations regarding proposed projects under CPEC phase two, in the education and health sectors, housing scheme for the low income groups, poverty reduction, Ehsaas poverty programme and eradication of malnutrition and stunting issues.
Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2020