ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan is going to hold a meeting of the highest forum of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on December 20, in China, the government here is unlikely to propose any new projects in the energy sector.
Whether the energy requirement has been met or the government has other priorities for CPEC, the concerned energy committee at Ministry of Planning and Development has not proposed any new projects in the sector to be discussed in the 8th JJC of CPEC, sources said.
In the meetings held during the last few weeks, no new project has been introduced by the relevant stakeholders and departments. It seems the new government wants projects in other sectors to be proposed and discussed for financing within the CPEC forum.
The already approved infrastructure, energy, communications project etc would be discussed in the said meeting to approve next stages of the development on the same projects.
“Even the two important projects of KIU 100 MW and Phandar 80 MW projects in Gilgit Baltistan (GB), which previously were approved to be included in CPEC have also not been included in the list of projects to be discussed in the said JCC,” said an insider claiming that the ministry’s officials have objected to including the same in CPEC citing the reason that the area has no energy policy.
“With the deletion of the same, there would be no energy project for GB in CPEC, despite gateway of the corridor,” said the source.
As per official statement of the ministry issued on Friday, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar chaired the meeting of Cabinet Committee on CPEC which was attended by the members of the Cabinet Committee and secretaries of the federal ministries.
The conveners of the Joint Working Groups on Energy, Infrastructure, Gwadar, Planning and Industrial Cooperation briefed the committee about the agenda of the forthcoming 8th Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting.
The committee accorded approval to the agenda, composition of Pakistani delegation for the next JCC and its date of the meeting, fixed on December 20, 2018.
The committee expressed satisfaction over inviting chief ministers of all the provinces to participate in JCC that would enable them to market their own industrial zones as well as negotiate their projects particularly new initiatives in the socio-economic development sector.
The committee reviewed the progress on Pak-China industrial cooperation and instructed for a special focus on the promotion of this sector. The cabinet body gave the go-ahead to sign industrial cooperation framework with China and encourage Chinese investors to relocate their industries. The committee instructed to finalise a schedule for the groundbreaking of Rashakai Economic Zone at the earliest by removing all bottlenecks.
According to the ministry, the chair on the occasion said that present government has expended base of CPEC by including socio-economic development and agriculture sector. The committee advised to identify pilot projects in these sectors in consultation with the provinces and take up with the Chinese side.
The committee reviewed the progress on Gwadar projects and instructed to complete all codal formalities for the early groundbreaking of Gwadar New Airport, Vocational Institute, Hospital and 300 MW Power Plant not later the 1st quarter of 2019.
The committee discussed Transport Infrastructure Projects in detail including provincial as well as mass transit projects and instructed for developing a roadmap for Pakistan’s Railway Mainline-1. It was decided to seek finances for KKH Thakot-Raikot (Remaining Portion) and upgradation of D.I.Khan-Zhob (Phase-1) project of the Western Route. Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said that the projects on the Western route are a priority of the government that would open and ensure uplift of less developed areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
The Cabinet Committee on CPEC reviewed progress on energy projects and instructed for encouraging investment in hydel, Thar Coal and renewable projects in the future.