- Planning minister says a major breakthrough is expected in JCC meeting with regard to Gwadar social sector projects, including new airport, hospital and vocational institute.
ISLAMABAD: Planning, Development and Reform Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has said that the governments of Pakistan and China are fully committed to uplifting the deprived segments of society through trade and industrialisation, cooperation in the field of agriculture, socio-economic development and poverty alleviation under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Chairing the 57th CPEC Progress Review Meeting at the Planning Commission on Tuesday, Bakhtiar highlighted that socio-economic development of Pakistan was the main focus of the prime minister’s recent visit to China, adding that both sides not only agreed to enhance the scope of CPEC but also stressed on opening new avenues to bring about a positive change in the livelihoods of the people of Pakistan.
“The success of the PM’s visit is reflected in the formation of new Joint Working Group on Socio-economic Development sector and Poverty Alleviation,” he said. “This will open new doors for education, health, vocational training and agriculture, besides contributing towards reducing regional disparities and social inequalities, and improving life expectancy and quality of life.
The minister said that the economic attractiveness of CPEC serves as an irresistible magnet for Pakistan to achieve its trade objectives and to enhance bilateral cooperation with China.
“As it enters a new phase, we should endeavour to explore new vistas of mutual growth and development,” he added.
Reviewing the preparations for the upcoming 8th Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting of CPEC in Beijing, the minister instructed the concerned officials to fast-track industrial cooperation by developing a holistic framework with China, besides initiating development work on special economic zones.
The minister laid particular emphasis on Gwadar projects and said that a major breakthrough is expected in JCC with regard to Gwadar social sector development projects, including a new airport, hospital, and vocational institute.
He further instructed the concerned officials to ensure finalisation of all processes of Gwadar 300MW power project before the next JCC meeting.
Bakhtiar reiterated the government’s stance regarding energy sector development and said that the projects based on indigenous sources, including coal, hydel and renewable energy, would be promoted in the future. He also instructed the officials to work out new transmission line projects under the CPEC energy cooperation.
The minister emphasised that CPEC will bring equal benefits in all aspects to both Pakistan and China. “The government of Pakistan remains committed to realising the opportunities that CPEC offers and we all must work in close liaison to achieve the targets set for the new phase,” he stressed.
Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan, CPEC Project Director Hassan Daud and officials from federal and provincial governments attended the meeting.