Categorical assurance on CPEC projects

THE Government, on Thursday, did two good things. The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet gave exemption from taxes and duties for import of machinery and equipment for infrastructure projects of NHA under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Secondly, addressing the Federal Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave directions that timelines of all projects under the umbrella of CPEC should be met.
Of course, there are impediments both seen and unseen in the implementation of the $46 billion project but it is good that the Government is mindful of all of them and taking necessary measures to realize the objective of their timely execution. A major chunk of projects under CPEC relates to energy and PML-N’s interest to speed up their implementation is understandable as it wants to fulfil the commitment made during last elections to end load shedding during its tenure. However, apart from these power projects, there are also others that have both economic and strategic significance and importance and they must be pushed to a stage where no future Government could dare roll them back due to internal or external pressures or political expediencies. This can only be ensured if the Prime Minister and all the Ministers concerned play their part well, keep constant vigil and monitoring on implementation of the projects and remove impediments through personal interest. China is more than willing to accelerate their pace of implementation and therefore, monitoring would not and should not be a problem. However, there is need, on our part, to do necessary homework on each and every aspect of all the projects. Advance planning should be done and timetable must also be drawn even for those projects that are slated for execution in subsequent stages.

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