Taking CPEC to court will harm foreign investment: Ahsan

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PC USAID sign MoU to integrate in energy

Islamabad—Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said on Tuesday that the issue of Western route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) should be resolved in the Parliamentary Committee instead of taking it to the courts or discussing in the media.
Talking to media after signing MOU with USAID under USAID technical assistance for Planning Commission in energy sector here, he said, the decision of Khyber Pakthunkwa government to take the issue of CPEC to the court was unrealistic as it would create difficulties for the province.
He said, foreign investment could not be attracted through courts rather such an action would have a negative impact in this regard.
Ahsan Iqbal said, he had a telephonic talk with Speaker, KP Assembly in which he informed him that reservations of KP government over CPEC were not based on facts.
The Minister informed the speaker that reservations of KPK Chief Minister and other PTI leadership were removed at a high level meeting held at Planing Commission on May 11.
The demands of KP leadership had also been included in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), he added.
Terming the revival of economy and prosperity of the country above politics, he informed, all the provinces were being given equal opportunities in the CPEC.
He pointed out that several hydel power generation projects including Dasu dam, Diamir-Bhasha dam and Munda dam were initiated in KP.
Earlier, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Tuesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate on integrated energy planning in Pakistan.
Through the MOU, the integrated energy planning process will help policymakers understand the impacts of different energy policy options and support effective short-term decisions that are consistent with long-term energy and economic objectives.
With the support of USAID, the United States Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are bringing their technical expertise and experience to work with ministries, provincial governments, and others to improve energy planning in Pakistan.
Secretary Planning Commission Naseem Khokhar and USAID’s Pakistan Mission Director, John Groarke signed the MoU. Federal Minister for Planning , Development and Reform witnessed the ceremony .
Speaking at the ceremony, USAID Mission Director John Groarke said, “Through the improved planning process, governments and utilities will evaluate a range of feasible policy and resource options and assess them against a common set of planning objectives and criteria. The integrated energy planning process will help policymakers understand the impacts of different energy policy options.”
The U.S. government has supported private investment in Pakistan’s energy sector through two large investment conferences, new energy sector guarantees through private Pakistani banks, and helped distribution companies, such as K-Electric, adopt commercial practices.
Speaking at the ceremony Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Refom Ahsan Iqbal said that the country was able to produce up to 16,000 MW in its 70 years while this capacity has been increased to produce an additional 10,000 MW by 2018.

He said that the objective of this MOU was to set up an integrated energy management center to optimize demand and supply of the electricity in the country. He further added that it was the right time to do right estimation of our future energy needs.

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