‘Govt striving to complete CPEC projects within set timelines’

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ISLAMABAD: Planning, Development and Reform Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar said on Friday that the incumbent government is committed to accelerating the progress of China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects and has set timelines for authorities concerned to resolve all the pending issues related to the projects.

The minister expressed these views while chairing the progress review meeting on CPEC in Islamabad. Chinese ambassador Yao Jing, CPEC Project Director Hassan Daud and senior officials from both sides were also present on the occasion.

During the meeting, projects of Orange Line Metro Train, Eastbay Expressway, 300MW coal-based power plant at Gwadar and Kohala Hydropower were discussed. Each project was scrutinized in detail while the majority of issues were resolved. For the remaining issues, the minister directed the authorities concerned to resolve them within strict timelines, asking them to submit progress reports in this regard on a monthly basis.

Talking about Eastbay Expressway, the minister said that the demand of local fishermen at Gwadar has been accepted and all efforts would be made to ensure timely completion of this important project.

Bakhtiar said that the government is committed to the development of Gwadar, adding that provision of electricity and clean drinking water to Gwadar is among the topmost priorities. “All efforts will be made to expedite the start of 300MW coal-based power plant so that the port city could be facilitated,” he said.

The minister noted that CPEC is progressing in the right direction and the present government has expanded its scope, in consultation with the Chinese government, to other important areas including industrialization, agriculture cooperation and socio-economic development.

The Chinese ambassador appreciated the commitment of the Pakistani government in resolving all pending issues and fast-tracking the CPEC projects. He also appreciated the new issue-based progress review mechanism for effective scrutiny and monitoring of CPEC projects.

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