Expedite  CPEC projects

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DESPITE repeated assurances and claims by the Government leaders, there are credible reports that progress on projects related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) remains somewhat stalled due to lethargic attitude of the relevant ministries and divisions and lack of policy directions by the Government.

Latest reports suggest that the Chinese investors, who are otherwise willing and capable of expediting work on all projects, have serious reservations over lack of interest by relevant authorities.

Pakistan received significant aid and assistance for hundreds of projects from various foreign sources since its creation but most of these failed to make any worthwhile impact on the socio-economic conditions of the people or the pace of economic development of the country mainly because the projects and programmes for which the aid was given were not properly conceived and implemented.

In many cases, loans and grants were provided by some countries for programmes which sounded very high conceptually but had no relevance to the ground realities in Pakistan.

As against this, there is consensus in the country that all projects under the framework of the CPEC were highly beneficial for people of Pakistan, especially for those in far-flung and backward regions.

It was mainly because of the Chinese-funded energy projects that Pakistan is today load-shedding free and contrary to the load-management policies of the past that played havoc with industrial production and exports, the Government is offering incentives to both the industry and the general public to consume more power.

In this backdrop, it is regrettable that apart from the uncalled for delay in resumption of work on the vitally important Dasu hydropower project, work on five other power sector projects including Karot is behind schedule as the relevant ministry has adopted a lacklustre attitude towards resolution of problems that mar the progress and beginning of their commercial operations.

Similarly, work on construction of several infrastructure projects including those for Gwadar is either suspended for the last three years or the construction activity is negligible due to lack of required commitment.

This runs contrary to the oft-repeated claims of the Government to make Gwadar a regional hub of trade and connectivity and create world-class infrastructure to attract investors for realization of the dream of bringing about an industrial revolution in the country.

We would, therefore, urge the Prime Minister to personally look into the matter as there are apprehensions that Pakistan might lose a historic opportunity for progress and development.

 

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