PM seeks reports on CPEC to expedite work on related projects

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Observer Report

Islamabad

Prime Minister Imran Khan has sought reports from all the concerned ministries and ordered to expedite work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
Federal Minister for Copmmunication Murad Saeed told Gwadar Pro that the PM was himself supervising the CPEC-related developments and had asked the ministries to regularly report to him.
The PM has also asked the bureaucracy to remove hurdles in the way of the smooth sailing of the CPEC projects,” he said.
Earlier, the Ministry of Communications released a video of the CPEC projects. It said the construction of two important motorways had been completed. Hakla DI Khan motorway would be opened for traffic in June next year, while 40 percent of construction work of the Khuzdar-Bisma project has been completed.
Construction on the Khushab Awaran motorway will commence from next month, while the tender for the Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway has been issued. Work on the second phase of the Swat motorway will commence from next month, according to the communication ministry.
New projects including, Sukkur-Hyderabad, Mangla-Mirpur, Giglt Shandoor Chitral motorway and others will be sent to the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) after receiving approval from the Joint Working Group.
Murad Saeed said that CPEC was a game-changer for Pakistan and the region and shows the friendship depth between Pakistan and China.
He added that people were getting better travel facilities while foreign investment is increasing in Pakistan through CPEC.
He thanked workers of Pakistan and China, experts and especially security forces for ensuring foolproof security of the mega projects.
The $60 billion CPEC kick-started five years back concentrating mainly on the construction of roads and motorways and power plants to ensure energy security in the wake of massive power shortfall.
Within the last couple of years, a series of power projects transformed the country into an energy-surplus destination from the power-deficient one.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are the next phase of development after early harvest projects under CPEC. The government is expecting $1.3 billion worth of export revenue from industrial chemicals through establishing SEZs dedicated to biotechnology.
However, the second phase of industrial and agriculture cooperation has yet to be made practical with the debt burden on Pakistan’s economy frequently being questioned.
In the first phase, a total of 1,544 km of roads have been constructed and 1,456 km are under construction. In the energy sector, 5,320 MW of electricity has been added to the national grid, while work on 7 projects with 4,170 MW power projects is nearing completion. Additional projects of 2,844MW are planned. Also, the cross-border optical fiber project which stretches over 820 km linking Khunjrab to Rawalpindi has already been completed.
Meanwhile, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said Gwadar port would provide huge opportunities to the energy-rich Central Asian Countries and Afghanistan for regional trade connectivity.