ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Khusro Bakhtiar has said that second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan, will focus on welfare projects for the betterment of the people of Pakistan.
The Minister was chairing the 58th Progress Review Meeting of CPEC projects here in Islamabad on Friday.
“The second phase, as envisioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan, will focus, among others, on welfare projects for the betterment of the people of Pakistan and we are thankful to the government of China for broadening its framework which will contribute to the sustained development of Pakistan,” he added.
The Minister said that the incumbent government, in consultation with the government of China, has succeeded in expanding its scope to include other priority areas under its framework including socio-economic development, poverty alleviation, agricultural and industrial cooperation.
Speaking on the occasion, Chinese ambassador Yao Jing said that CPEC is heading in the right direction adding that CPEC is quite different from other Belt and Road initiatives as this flagship project manifests the longstanding friendship between the two friendly countries and will bring prosperity and progress for Pakistan.
He stressed that the project will continue to progress on expedited pace, as reiterated by PM Imran Khan in his recent meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister, for timely completion of all projects. During the meeting, various projects of CPEC were discussed in detail.
Secretary Power informed that the synchronized demand-supply study of CPEC energy projects will be firmed up by October 2019. NEPRA said that all pending tariff issues including of Port Qasim and Gwadar 300 MW coal project will be resolved soon.
Talking about Kohala Hydropower project, Minister for Planning said that it is an important project and expressed gratitude to the Government of China and Three Gorges for extending cooperation in this regard.
It was decided that process for establishing appellate tribunal will be expedited to resolve future tariff issues of energy projects. It was informed that the Gwadar development Authority, headed by Chief Minister Balochistan, has approved the Gwadar city master plan with some minor modifications. Secretary Communications informed that Multan-Sukkur motorway will be opened soon for general traffic as the work was almost complete.
Planning Minister and the Chinese ambassador appreciated the pace of work on the East Bay Expressway project. Orange Line Train project and ongoing projects in Gwadar were also deliberated upon in detail.
The meeting deliberated upon issues confronting different projects and it was decided to fast track their resolution for timely completion of all projects. Minister for Planning underlined the need for meeting the projects’ timelines and called for further gearing up the momentum in CPEC projects.
Chinese ambassador Yao Jing, DCPC Dr Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, representatives from Chinese enterprises and senior officials from relevant ministries also attended the meeting.