ISLAMABAD: Beijing has given final approval to Islamabad for providing financial assistance worth $1.14 billion for short-term projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Members of the fourth Joint Working Group expressed satisfaction over the completion of pre-requisites, including the feasibility report, PC-1 of these three short-term projects.
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It also recommended them to the sixth Joint Coordination Committee (JCC), the apex body controlling the financing arrangements for CPEC. These short-term projects were already approved by the fifth JCC, according to the documents.
According to the documents available with The Express Tribune, the three short-term projects include Karakoram Highway Thakot-Raikot N-35 remaining portion (136 KM) which will cost around $80 million, Khuzdar-Basima Road N-30 (110KM) which will be constructed at the cost of $160 million and Up-gradation of Dera Ismail Khan –Zhob,N-50 phase-1 (225km). The project will cost $900 million, according to the PC-I.
The meeting was held in Beijing between November 10 and 11, in which numerous mega and short-term projects under CPEC were reviewed and discussed.
The Chinese delegation was headed by Ministry of Transport Vice Minister H E, Dai Dongchnag. The Pakistani delegation was headed by Ministry of Communication Federal Secretary Khalid Masood Chaudhary and National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarar accompanied him.
The Chinese delegation assured that effective measures will be taken to commence the construction of the New Gwadar International Airport at the earliest.
It was also shared that China and Pakistan will soon sign the Letter of Expression for the Gwadar airport project soon after its internal approval from the Chinese side.
The Pakistani delegation presented other projects including expansion of existing multi-purpose terminal and East Bay Expressway-II for consideration of the sixth JCC meeting for signing the inter-governmental framework.
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The meeting agreed in principle to the proposal and recommended initiating preparatory work related to this project, including technical and commercial feasibility.
In regard to East Bay Expressway Project, the Chinese side has completed the preliminary work on ‘fast track’ and submitted the letter of exchange (LoE) for project approval to Pakistan.
Courtesy : Express Tribune