CPEC-related bottlenecks being removed on priority: minister

ISLAMABAD: Planning, Development and Reform Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar has said that the incumbent government has provided new impetus to accelerate the pace and implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

He underlined that the bottlenecks related to CPEC framework were being removed on priority in order to ensure timely completion of projects.

The minister was chairing a meeting to review the development of decisions taken in the 58th Progress Review Meeting of CPEC projects on Friday. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan and Planning Secretary Zafar Hasan were also present on the occasion.

The minister said that regular meetings on the CPEC portfolio were a manifestation of the government’s commitment towards the execution of the mega initiative.

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He stated that the second phase of the CPEC framework would focus on socio-economic projects. The minister emphasised the need to further improve coordination among relevant stakeholders involved in the implementation of CPEC projects, noting that completion of CPEC would contribute significantly to sustained development in Pakistan.

During the meeting, various CPEC projects were discussed in detail. The power secretary informed that the Chinese side would provide a synchronised demand-supply study of the CPEC-related energy projects by October 2019. It was decided that the study would be presented in the upcoming Joint Working Group and that it would be a deliverable for the upcoming Joint Coordination Committee (JCC).

NEPRA apprised the meeting that it had issued true-up tariff for Port Qasim on September 16. The law ministry would move a summary for the establishment of appellate tribunals to resolve tariff issues related to energy projects.

Regarding the Orange Line project, it was informed that civil work for water and drainage facilities would be completed on time.

About Gwadar Eastbay Expressway project, it was apprised that it would be on the agenda of the upcoming ECNEC meeting and that the Chinese side has confirmed additional loans for it.

Regarding the Gwadar International Airport, the Gwadar Development Authority has provided water supply of 0.25MGD, whereas the Civil Aviation Authority would provider alternate supply of electricity till Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) makes arrangements in this regard.

The Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) informed that it would start work immediately on providing gas supply to Rashakai Economic Zone. It was informed that electricity supply of required 10MW would be made available by December 2019.

The meeting also discussd the upcoming joint working group meeting and also took stock of preparations for JCC, to be held in November this year.

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