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CPEC projects facing no delay, clarifies ministry

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform on Saturday denied China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects are facing inordinate delays.

A spokesperson for the ministry clarified that none of the CPEC projects was facing delay, adding that Pakistan and China had agreed on the future trajectory of the CPEC and timely completion of its on-going projects.

“The successful 8th joint cooperation committee meeting laid foundation for the expansion of CPEC to new heights. For the future, joint efforts are underway, focusing on socio-economic development and accelerating cooperation in industrial development as well as agriculture,” he said.

He said memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the formation of a joint working groups on socio-economic development and poverty reduction have been signed during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China in November last year.

The spokesman said a team of the Chinese Socio-Economic Development would be visiting the country to finalise the projects and its sites in already agreed six different areas, including health, education, water supply, vocational training, poverty alleviation and agriculture.

“Underscoring the significance of Gwadar as an important node in cross-regional connectivity and the central pillar of CPEC, Pakistan and China are agreed to speed up progress on the port and its ancillary projects. The groundbreaking for New Gwadar Airport, vocational institute and hospital have been planned in the first quarter of this year. Gwadar Master Plan is being prepared and it is in the final stages of formulation.”

He said huge investment is expected in the petrochemical sector at Gwadar. “Pakistan and China have expedited work on industrial cooperation under CPEC and the government has fast-tracked development of economic zones by prioritizing Rashakai, Dhabajhi Faisalabad and ICT SEZs with a vision to make 2019 as a year of industrial development under CPEC.”

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