CPEC benefits should reach all provinces equally, says PM Nawaz Sharif

Expressing satisfaction on the outcome of the recently-held sixth meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Beijing, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Wednesday it was imperative that the benefits of the mega project reached all the provinces equally.

He asked the officials concerned to expedite the process of implementation since the project would bring about a great change in the life of the people and stability in the region.  Chairing a meeting of the participants of the JCC here at the PM House, the prime minister said it was a matter of enormous satisfaction that international investors were now showing a keen interest in investing in Pakistan which is a manifestation of the government’s successful economic policies and investor-friendly environment.

The prime minister was briefed on the progress made in the JCC. He felicitated Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, on ably spearheading the effort and providing guidance to the members of the federating units in the committee. The prime minister was informed that the agreement on a 300MW power project had been signed and it will be started soon.

Similarly, the Gwadar water supply project, hospital, technical institutes and mass transit railway project in the provincial headquarters were also discussed in the JCC in Beijing. China has agreed to consider and examine the Indus Cascade projects to be made part of the CPEC.

Nawaz congratulated the Water and Power Ministry for securing 1.5 billion dollar Lahore-Matiari Transmission Line project agreement to be funded under CPEC and directed to actively pursue its implementation. He also felicitated the Pakistani team for inclusion of mass transit projects in the four provinces and directed the railways minister to facilitate the provinces by giving his ministry’s technical advice for project feasibilities. Nawaz said road connectivity projects will open up under-developed areas of Pakistan to investment.

About establishment of industrial parks, the prime minister directed the federal authorities to initiate the process of providing electricity, gas and telecommunication to the proposed sites. The prime minister appreciated that provinces are represented in the CPEC projects and it is important so that the benefits of these projects are equitably distributed among the federating units.

Referring to international investors’ keen interest for investing in Pakistan, the prime minister maintained that it is a manifestation of the government’s successful economic policies and investor-friendly environment. He said road connectivity projects will open up under-developed areas of Pakistan to investment.

Overall, the prime minister expressed satisfaction over the progress of CPEC projects. About establishment of industrial parks, he directed the federal authorities to initiate the process of providing electricity, gas and telecommunication to the proposed sites.

The prime minister appreciated that the provinces are represented in the CPEC projects and it is important so that the benefits of these projects are equitably distributed among the federating units. The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Special Assistant to the PM on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi, Secretary to PM Fawad Hassan Fawad and other senior officials.

Meanwhile, the prime minister directed Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to ensure that gas consumers are given the maximum relief. The minister called on the premier here at the PM House on Wednesday where he briefed him on the situation pertaining to availability of gas in different parts of the country.

According to sources, the premier reminded the petroleum minister that in the wake of increasing cold, provision of gas in different forms should be kept streamlined in the best possible manner to the people. He further directed the minister to enhance coordination with respect to energy projects. The minister apprised Nawaz of various ongoing projects and initiatives undertaken by his ministry, especially in the field of oil and gas exploration in the country. He also briefed the prime minister on progress regarding the LNG import and measures taken for fuel supply to various sectors.

(Source: The News)

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