Committee sees no progress in CPEC projects in Balochistan

Published October 3, 2020
The committee directed the secretary of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Mathar Niaz Rana, to prioritise umbrella projects specified for Balochistan. — Reuters/File
The committee directed the secretary of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Mathar Niaz Rana, to prioritise umbrella projects specified for Balochistan. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee on Friday observed that no progress had been made in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in Balochistan since 2017.

The convener of the Special Committee on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman, said: “Briefing given by the ministry and its various allied departments is insufficient and lacks details on many aspects. The departments are shifting responsibility on one another and there seems to be no institutional collaboration.”

The committee directed the secretary of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Mathar Niaz Rana, to prioritise umbrella projects specified for Balochistan.

Members of the committee were of the view that no tangible progress had been achieved during the last few years and despite recommendations, provision of gas and electricity supply in Bostan town of Balochistan and its development as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) seemed a farce.

Speaking on the Gwadar power plant issue, Ms Reh­man said: “Two projects from Balochistan have been discussed. The SEZ and provision of energy to Gwadar. The federal government is misrepresenting the facts on projects on Balochistan, incl­u­ding the SEZs, as well as the power project for Gwa­dar which has been caught in Nepra tariff since 2017, and has still not cranked up.”

“SEZ at Bostan has rec­e­i­v­ed no Public Sector Develo­p­ment Programme (PSDP) funding and hence no progress could be achieved. Planning Division’s unprofessional approach towards CPEC and its various umb­rella projects with special reference to development of Special Economic Zones in Balochistan and other parts of the country is disappointing. We have decided that the planning minister will address the agenda on Balo­chistan himself,” Senator Rehman added.

Senator Usman Khan Ka­kar observed that there is nothing on the ground and it is unfortunate that 132KV grid station in Bostan could not be constructed due to non-availability of required funds.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2020

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