Balochistan’s CPEC projects take pace

By Ajmal
Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: Convener of the Special Committee on the project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Senator Sherry Rehman has directed the authorities to expedite work on CPEC projects in Balochistan.
The Committee directed Secretary of the ministry to prioritize umbrella projects specified for Balochistan. Members of the Committee were of the view that no tangible progress had been achieved during last few years and despite recommendations, provision of gas and electricity supply in Bostan area of Balochistan and its development as Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was delayed.
Speaking on the Gwadar power plant issue, Sherry Rehman said:“Two projects from Balochistan have been discussed; SEZ and provision of energy to Gwadar. Federal government should present the facts on projects on Balochistan, including the SEZs, as well as the power project for Gwadar which has been caught in NEPRA tariff forest since 2017 and has still not cranked up”.
She added:“SEZ at Bostan has received no PSDP funding and hence the progress is slow. Planning Division’s unprofessional approach towards CPEC and its various umbrella projects with special reference to development of Special Economic Zones in Balochistan and other parts of the country is disappointing. We have decided that the Planning Minister will address the agenda on Balochistan himself.”
Senator Usman Khan Kakar observed that there was nothing on the ground and it is unfortunate that 132 KV grid station at Bostan could not be constructed due to non-availability of required funds. He demanded early completion of the project with an aim to provide relief to the people.
“Questions were raised on the lapsed CPEC Authority and how it will proceed further. What coordination has been done since there is no clarity,”said Senator Rehman.
Earlier Secretary, Board of Investment (BOI) informed that BOI solicited the rational for the plot pricing in Rashakai SEZ from the relevant authority of Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa, however, the reply is awaited.
The Committee was also informed about the status of progress report on provision of gas and electricity supply. The committee rejected the stance of the ministry and decided to postpone the meeting in protest as the information provided was insufficient.
Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying that, “We are still standing where we were one year ago. Parliament needs to be respected and taken seriously”.
The Committee meeting was attended by Senators Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Dr. Sikandar Mandhro, Dr. Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Dr. Asad Ashraf Nuzhat Sadiq, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Mir Kabeer Ahmad Muhammad Shahi, Sitara Ayaz and Muhammad Javed Abbasi besides Secretary, M/o Planning and senior officers of the relevant departments
Earlier, Sindh Governor Imran Ismaeil said CPEC was a game changer in its truest sense for Pakistan as holds every potential to revolutionize all sectors of our national economy.
In a meeting with Asim Saleem Bajwa, Special Assistant to the Prime Minisiter and Chairman, CPEC Authority at Sindh Governor House during which details of different economic corridor related projects were discussed, the governor sounded confident that these on completion would be of great benefit for the people of the country.
Projects that particularly came under discussion included Karachi Circular Railway and Thar Coal Power Generation plants besides Chinese investments in other relevant schemes.
Governor Imran Ismail was of the opinion that CPEC well reflected the deep rooted and everlasting relationship between Pakistan and China.
Successful completion of CPEC projects, he reiterated would completely transform the economic infrastructure of the country.