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Provinces invited to attend CPEC meeting in Beijing next week

ISLAMABAD: The Centre and the provinces agreed on Thursday to include two projects and two industrial parks each from all the provinces in the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

This was the outcome of a pre-Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting of the CPEC presided over by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and attended by governor and chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan and ministers from all the other provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

It was also decided that the federal and provincial governments would jointly attend the upcoming meeting of the JCC of the CPEC on Dec 29 in Beijing.
Punjab’s Orange Line and Sindh’s Karachi Circular Railway to be part of CPEC priority projects

Punjab’s Orange Line Metro Train Project, Sindh’s Karachi Circular Railway and two similar mass transit projects from Balochistan and KP were identified as priority projects for inclusion in the $51-billion CPEC.

While Sindh’s Keti Bandar Port development was also prioritised, the three other provinces agreed to select one project each of their priority in a day or two so that these could be taken up with the Chinese side during the Dec 29 meeting.

All these projects would be taken to the JCC next week where provincial chief ministers would be participating. The governments of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan also called for similar treatment that was generally agreed to, but their priorities could not be set at this stage.

A senior government official agreed that the newly prioritised projects have not yet been cleared by the joint working group of the two countries before taking them up before the JCC. However, he emphasised that the condition was of procedural nature and would be completed in due course.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Iqbal said the federal government wanted to ensure inclusion of all provinces and territories to benefit from the CPEC. “It has been decided that federal and provincial governments will take up the case of Pakistan jointly and effectively represent on this bilateral forum,” he said.

Governor KP Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said the megaproject was not only a game-changer for Pakistan, but for the whole region. He said the projects to be initiated in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) would pave a way for prosperity of war-affected areas and benefit the entire region.

Chief Minister KP Pervaiz Khattak also expressed his support for the CPEC, saying he along with other chief ministers would participate in the forthcoming JCC meeting in China. He said his government has provided a priority list of the projects to be included in this megaproject.

ISLAMABAD: The Centre and the provinces agreed on Thursday to include two projects and two industrial parks each from all the provinces in the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

This was the outcome of a pre-Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting of the CPEC presided over by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and attended by governor and chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan and ministers from all the other provinces and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

It was also decided that the federal and provincial governments would jointly attend the upcoming meeting of the JCC of the CPEC on Dec 29 in Beijing.
Punjab’s Orange Line and Sindh’s Karachi Circular Railway to be part of CPEC priority projects

Punjab’s Orange Line Metro Train Project, Sindh’s Karachi Circular Railway and two similar mass transit projects from Balochistan and KP were identified as priority projects for inclusion in the $51-billion CPEC.

While Sindh’s Keti Bandar Port development was also prioritised, the three other provinces agreed to select one project each of their priority in a day or two so that these could be taken up with the Chinese side during the Dec 29 meeting.

All these projects would be taken to the JCC next week where provincial chief ministers would be participating. The governments of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan also called for similar treatment that was generally agreed to, but their priorities could not be set at this stage.

A senior government official agreed that the newly prioritised projects have not yet been cleared by the joint working group of the two countries before taking them up before the JCC. However, he emphasised that the condition was of procedural nature and would be completed in due course.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Iqbal said the federal government wanted to ensure inclusion of all provinces and territories to benefit from the CPEC. “It has been decided that federal and provincial governments will take up the case of Pakistan jointly and effectively represent on this bilateral forum,” he said.

Governor KP Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said the megaproject was not only a game-changer for Pakistan, but for the whole region. He said the projects to be initiated in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) would pave a way for prosperity of war-affected areas and benefit the entire region.

Chief Minister KP Pervaiz Khattak also expressed his support for the CPEC, saying he along with other chief ministers would participate in the forthcoming JCC meeting in China. He said his government has provided a priority list of the projects to be included in this megaproject.

“We all are united for the completion of this important project in letter and spirit as it provides an agenda for a developed and economically stable Pakistan,” said Hafizur Rehman, chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Minister for Transport Sindh Nasir Hussain Shah said the Pakistan Peoples Party took full ownership of the CPEC. He expressed his gratitude over approval of the two projects for their inclusion in the CPEC framework.

Minister for Industries Punjab Allau Uddin said his government has proposed different industrial zones to be developed. “We are working to ensure creation of maximum jobs through CPEC projects,” he said.

AJK’s Minister for Planning and Development Dr Najeeb Naqi Khan also appreciated the federal government for considering a number of road projects.

According to a statement, Mr Iqbal earlier told participants that the CPEC has grabbed international attention and many countries were showing interest to be part of it. He requested all the stakeholders to work jointly against lobbies waging campaigns to mislead the masses and make this project controversial.

He asked the provinces to propose economically viable and feasible sites for setting up industrial zones under the CPEC. However, he cautioned that the sites should not be selected on wishes; instead, the selection has to be based on the principles of marketing to attract investors.

The statement said the participants agreed to curtail their long list of proposed special economic zones to two priority industrial zone from each province. Further, they agreed to identify two projects in the field of infrastructure and energy sectors to be considered for inclusion under the CPEC.

courtesy : dawn news

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