No discrimination with small provinces in CPEC projects: Ahsan Iqbal

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Ahsan Iqbal meets CCIEE CEO, explores prospects of diversifying CPEC cooperation

ISLAMABAD Sept (APP): Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday rejected the impression that major projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are in Punjab and said, Sindh and Balochistan provinces would be main beneficiaries of power projects under the CPEC.

Speaking in a private news channel program, the minister
said out of total investment volume of US$ 46 billion, US$ 35 billion will be spent on energy projects and from this amount US$ 11 billion projects will be installed in Sindh and US$ nine billion projects in Balochistan.

“Therefore stating that major chunk will go to Punjab is
negative propaganda of the opponents of CPEC. I strongly reject this perception as it is against the reality,” he stated in
response to a question.

The minister rejected that there were more than 300
projects under CPEC and stated, these are not retail projects but mega projects and every coal power project will cost approximately US$ two billion.

Moreover, there are mega projects like Gawadar Airport and Seaport, Gawadar expressway and water, roads and
railways projects.

“Major CPEC projects are in Sindh and Balochistan and the latter  will be the key beneficiary.”

He mentioned to a summit on CPEC few days back and
said, all the Chief Ministers including the GB Chief Minister and
AJK leadership have expressed full confidence on allocation of projects and the pace of implementation.

“None of the provinces expressed any reservation on these
projects during the summit and we should understand that it is our enemy who is busy in negative propaganda and trying to make this project controversial,” the minister stated.

Ahsan Iqbal said, “we should not be swayed by enemy’s
propaganda as the federal government is in continuous contact with elected provincial governments and they are completely onboard.”

He said work on mega hydel projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is already underway like US$ 12 billion Dassu dam, US$ 14 billion Diamer Bhasha Dam, Munda dam and 900 MW Sukhi Kinari power project.

He said under the CPEC Pakistan is getting from China only
the renewable, coal technology energy projects. This coal
technology is also super critical with the least pollution
prospects.

He said main focus of the coal technology power projects is
towards South near Thar and ports because it will reduce the cost of transportation.

Ahsan Iqbal said the government has keenly addressed the
concerns of stakeholders but unfortunately some people are engaged in just politicking on these projects.

“But, we are following our national agenda and all stakeholders are completely onboard as manifested in the summit.”