Ahsan Iqbal seeks report over dysfunctional ‘CPEC Center of Excellence’

Imran trying to make ECP controversial: Ahsan

ISLAMABAD, Apr 21 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday expressed displeasure over dysfunctionality of the Center of Excellence for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which was supposed to provide support for CPEC.

The minister expressed concerns while chairing a meeting to review a progress on projects initiated under Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives, said a press release issued here. The meeting was attended by the additional secretary PD&SI, Project Directors and other relevant stakeholders.

During the meeting three projects related to PIDE came under discussion which includes Center of Excellence for CPEC, Competitive Grants Program for Policy -Oriented Research and Construction of PIDE Campus, in F-5/2 which were approved by CDWP and DDWP in 2016, 2019 and 2020 respectively.

The Center of Excellence was established in Pakistan Institutes Development Economics (PIDE) which could help in better management of program but unfortunately, there is no progress, said the minister. “The idea of the center was to conduct an empirical research which could help in tapping new opportunities,” said the minister while directing Registrar PIDE to submit a complete action plan and their achievements.

“We have little knowledge about Chinese markets therefore, a quality research center is a dire need of time particularly, in the field of industrial cooperation, he added. The minister also inquired about the Construction of PIDE Campus in F-5/2 in Islamabad.

The minister was informed that Capital Development Authority CDA has not handed over the plot despite full payment. He directed that possession of land should be taken immediately and work on construction of the campus must be commence without further delay.

During the meeting, the minister also reviewed several development projects which includes Integrated Energy Planning, Strengthening of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics CVRS System, Social Sector Accelerator SSA) for Health, Nutrition, Education, Youth and Green Line Bus Transit System, Operationalization of Green Line BRTS and several others.

The minister directed relevant Project Directors to submit action plans of their projects so the performance could be evaluated.