Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said the ongoing development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) should be fast-tracked for timely completion and directed to give a final shape to the consultation process of the future projects on priority.
Lauding the time-tested friendship with China, he said Beijing has always supported Islamabad during the difficult times and the CPEC is a manifestation of this 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.
The prime minister chaired a high-level review meeting to ascertain progress on different CPEC projects. Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Advisor Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Naya Pakistan Housing Programme Chairman Lt Gen (r) Anwar Ali Haider and other senior officials attended the meeting.
The prime minister directed the CPEC Authority to accelerate implementation pace on the different projects under the second phase on priority. Giving direction for early finalization and completion of these projects, the relevant ministries were directed to set completion period and emphasized upon making the inter-ministerial coordination more effective to achieve desired results within appointed timeframe.
The prime minister directed the authorities to brief him in the upcoming review meeting on these 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 details 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 the Gwadar Port and the second phase projects including industrialization 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 have been completed whereas work on the Gwadar Port and airport is under progress.
The Orange Line project has been completed while consultation process over feasibility of Quetta railway is underway. The prime minister had already laid foundation stone of the Allama Iqbal Special Economic Zone while Rashakai’s is expected in the next month. The bidding process for Dhabeji Economic Zone will be completed soon, it was further informed. The meeting also took stock of different proposals regarding proposed projects under CPEC phase two in the education and health sectors, housing scheme for the low-income groups, poverty reduction, Ehsas poverty programme and eradication of malnutrition and stunting issues.