PR No. 28 Islamabad: March 3, 2017

Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said that CPEC projects in energy, Gwadar, motorways and other sectors would be completed in the targeted time frame.

He expressed these views while chairing a meeting in Planning Commission at Islamabad on Friday to review progress on projects being implemented under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The meeting was attended by officials from Chinese Embassy, different ministries and provincial departments.

Ahsan Iqbal said that the timely completion of ongoing projects in the energy sector is top priority of the government and it will not tolerate negligence of any kind. He further directed that besides power generation projects, transmission and distribution schemes be implemented, so that the system can meet future needs.

Minister said that energy projects under CPEC should be environment friendly by using modern technology and according to the International laws.

During the meeting, National Highway officials briefed the participant on progress over Western route and Multan-Sukkur motorway projects.

Minister Ahsan Iqbal instructed that the Infrastructure group should ensure timely implementation of newly approved road projects. “Steering mechanism shall be formed immediately by National Highway Authority along with provincial representatives for new road projects agreed in 6th JCC”, said Ahsan Iqbal.

Minister directed the authorities to initiate construction work on road projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly the rehabilitation and dualization of Indus Highway from Kohat to LakkiMarwat. He further said that local administration and elected representatives be taken onboard to decide compensation for land acquisition in connection of roads projects.

While reviewing the progress on ongoing Gwadar projects, Ahsan Iqbal said that the public welfare schemes in Gwadar would guarantee a bright future of CPEC. He instructed that projects in different sectors including education, health, water supply professional education and technical skills should be completed according to international standards.

Minister PD&R also issued directions for early rehabilitation of existing desalination plant in Gwadar to avoid drinking water problem in coming summer.

Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan and China is ensuring a number of initiatives to modernize and enhance capacity of Gwadar Port. “The port will make Pakistan a hub of global trade” he hoped

The Minister said that Gwadar city is being developed according to international standards, thus working group on Gwadar must ensure high quality in formation of a city master plan.

“Completion of Gwadar International Airport will play a vital role in development of this port city, so all the institutions should prepare a collaborative and integrated strategy for the timely completion of this project” he added.

Minister also directed all the provincial governments to review the CPEC’s long term by 9th of this month.            Minister said that final drafts prepared after recommendations of the provincial governments will be shared with Chinese by 31st of this month.

Ahsan Iqbal also directed all the provinces to complete the feasibility reports on establishment of Special Economic Zones under CPEC. “To ensure maximum benefits of industrial cooperation, a joint national industrial framework must be developed with the support of local industrialists, experts and researchers” he instructed.

Minister further emphasized that federal and provincial governments should jointly work to ensure security of workers on CPEC projects. He further instructed for a joint mechanism of law enforcing agencies to ensure smooth operation.