CPEC soars to $54 billion, says minister for planning, development
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal Saturday said the government is making all out efforts to take all provinces on board in the execution of projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“The amount of CPEC has been increased from $46 billion to $54 billion with the potential to increase more with the inclusion of future projects,” he said while talking to a PTV program.
Ahsan Iqbal said nine sites for industrial zones have been decided in consensus with all stakeholders. These sites are in all four provinces, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and Islamabad. Ahsan Iqbal said these zones would pave way for future economic development of Pakistan.
Referring to mass transit projects, he said railway projects for all four provincial capitals have also been initiated under the CPEC.
The minister said the Keti Bandar project of Sindh government was also approved to be executed under CPEC. An important road from Gilgit-Chitral to Chakdara will connect with Karakoram Highway and benefit the upper areas of the country. Similarly, Mirpur-Muzaffarabad-Mansehra road will connect the areas of Azad Kashmir with KKH.
He said Nokundi-Mashkel-Punjgur will connect the deprived areas of Balochistan with the mainstream to change the economic lot of the people.
Replying to a question, he said Western route of CPEC has become operational in November 2016, one month ahead of schedule.