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Government releases Rs 360 million for ML-I railway project

ISLAMABAD: Federal Government has released 360 million rupees for up-gradation and rehabilitation of mainline (ML-1) railway project and establishment of dry-port in Havelian.

According to the Planning Ministry, the railway project is an important strategic part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

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The government has allocated 1.8 billion rupees for its preliminary design during the year 2019-20.

Earlier on August 26, The secretary planning gave a detailed presentation on various projects under the CPEC framework.

The Committee decided that discussion with regard to the financing of ML-1 project should be commenced to finalise the mode and PC-1 of the project.

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Bakhtyar reiterated that it is a very important project under CPEC portfolio and the incumbent government is committed to fast track it.

He apprised that CPEC is now entering into the next phase with the incorporation of new additional areas and for this purpose, there is a need for an integrated entity in the form of CPEC Authority.

It was decided that the draft act of the Authority will be presented to the federal cabinet for approval.

The committee held detailed discussions on various projects under CPEC in infrastructure, energy and other areas. About Rashakai Special Economic Zone, it was apprised that negotiations on Development Agreement are in final stages with CRBC.

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The committee issued directives for ensuring early provision of utilities to Rashakai SEZ on priority so that groundbreaking could be performed next month.

The Minister for Planning said that the government is committed to providing incentives for SEZ’s including 100% repatriation of profits.

The committee also decided to present land-use plan for Gwadar Smart Port city to the federal cabinet after incorporating recommendations of the Balochistan provincial government.

Energy projects, including 300 MW Gwadar Coal Power Plant, Kohala Hydropower Project (1124 MW) and Thar coal projects, Infrastructure projects including Multan-Sukkur Motorway and Orange Line Train project were also deliberated upon.

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The committee was apprised that Multan-Sukkur Motorway will be inaugurated soon. The civil works on Orange Line Train Project will be completed by December this year.

Bakhtyar emphasised that all stakeholders should resolve all pending issues pertaining to CPEC projects at the earliest to accrue maximum benefits from the forthcoming Joint Cooperation Committee. It was decided to convene next meeting of the Cabinet Committee on CPEC in September.

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