Govt directed to brief Senate on CPEC agreements details

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ISLAMABAD, July 27 (APP): Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani Wednesday directed the government to brief the Senate about the details of agreements regarding China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Chairman Senate gave the ruling after a marathon debate on an adjournment motion of Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldin about the salient points of agreement between Pakistan and China.

He said Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal should brief the Senate either on Thursday or Friday about it.

Earlier, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab said CPEC was a national project and no step would be taken against the interest of any province.

Winding up debate on the motion, he said the project had not been launched for the development of a single province but its benefits would be reaped by the entire nation.

He said those who, in past, were criticizing the PML-N vision to launch the Metro Bus project or construct Islamabad-Lahore Motorway were now appreciative of those projects, which had greatly facilitated the people.

He said economic zones under the CPEC project would be built in consultation with the provincial chief ministers which would bring an era of economic development in those areas.

He said the total cost of the project was 46 billion dollars and out of which 34 billion dollars was meant for the energy projects which were taking place not in a single province but in the whole country.

This amount was not a loan rather Chinese financial institutions would assist their country’s companies which could enter into joint ventures with local Pakistani companies, he added.

He said work on coal, wind and solar projects had been initiated under the CPEC and two power projects of 1320 MW would be completed by 2017.

Similarly, 660MW projects in Thar and 1320 WM coal projects in Sahiwal would be completed by 2017, he added.

These projects, he said, showed that smaller provinces were not being neglected and reflected the government’s sincerity to bring prosperity in all the provinces under the CPEC.

He said the hydel power project to be set up in Sakki, Menshra would produce 870 MW. Land was being acquired for the project, he added.

He said 720MW and 1100 MW projects would be launched in Kirot, Azad Kashmir and Kohala respectively.

He said a 400MW solar power project had been completed in Bahawalpur which was at present producing 100MW and would attain full capacity by 2017.

He said in Thatta Jamper a 200MW project would be completed.

He said a route would lead from Khunjrab to Burhan, passing through five districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said E-35 would be completed from Burhan-Havelian which would reduce distance of Hazara to other areas of the KP province.

He said as part of the Western Route, earlier a road was to be built from Burhan but now work would start from Hakala to Dera Ismail Khan.

He said out of five portions of the motorway, contract of three had already been awarded and road from Dera Ismail Khan would lead onward to Zhob and then to Gwadar. The project would be completed in two years.

He said railway track from Peshawar to Karachi would be dualized which would help further reduce distance.

He said currently there were three berths at Gwadar, while 80 more berths would be built.

He said the new Gwadar airport would be built at an estimated cost of Rs 22 billion, besides building two dams for water storage.

He said power plants having capacity of 300MW would also be set up at Gwadar while an LNG terminal would also be established. He said a state-of-the-art hospital would be constructed in Gwadar to provide best healthcare facilities to the people.

Regarding tax free zones, he said the government wanted to fetch foreign investment through announcing incentives.