Sunday March 26, 2023

PTI govt suspended work on all CPEC projects: Ahsan Iqbal

Ahsan Iqbal has maintained that PTI government didn’t initiate even one single new scheme in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during its around four year’s government

November 22, 2022
Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal. Twitter
Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal. Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal has maintained that PTI government didn’t initiate even one single new scheme in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during its around four year’s government.

Returning from Sharm el Shaikh via Saudi Arabia, he told The News here other evening that Imran government put all ongoing projects of development in the corridor held in abeyance since all sanctioned projects which PTI government inherited from the PMLN, were placed under suspension including ML-one Railway’s gigantic project on which not a single inch move forward was made by the PTI government.

Ahsan Iqbal attended COP27 summit in costal tourist resort Sharm el Shaikh where he briefed participants about Pakistan’s case pertaining to effects of weather changes and recent rainy flood in various parts of the country that caused huge losses. He maintained that the CPEC that suffered badly during the previous government of the PTI, was back on track now and it had started working on the desired pace.

The minister said that had the PTI government not follow path of negativity CPEC could have generated double the jobs that it had produced so far. To a query, he said that costal tourism would be promoted in Gwadar on the lines, Sharm el Shaikh had been developed by the Egyptian government. Gwadar has much more bright prospectuses for attracting tourists across the world due to its beauty and magnificence, he added.

The PTI sources were not available for their comments on the role of PTI government with regard to the CPEC.

In the meanwhile CPEC which was inked by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping during former’s government in Pakistan has created 190,000 jobs over the past nine years. An official from China has revealed that CPEC that is flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) conceived by President Xi has scope and capacity of provision of employment and business for several thousand once it completes.

Meng Wei, spokesperson of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (CNDRC) said on Sunday that Pakistan and China established the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on the CPEC in 2013, focusing on cooperation in Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and industries. In recent years, the two sides have expanded their cooperation to the fields of science and technology, agriculture, society, people’s livelihood and information technology industries, he said.

The cooperation outcome can be represented by Gwadar East Bay Expressway project, China-funded Gwadar Seawater Desalination Project, Karot Hydropower Station, China’s aid to Pakistan’s flood-hit areas and in other fields. The two sides will jointly implement the consensus between the leaders of the two countries, accelerate the cooperation in the fields of agriculture, mining, information technology, society and people’s livelihood, and promote the high-quality construction of the CPEC in the days to come, the spokesperson said. Meanwhile, Ahsan Iqbal on Monday directed the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to submit PC-1 of the Narowal Sports City on November 30.

The minister made these directions while chairing a meeting to review the progress of Narowal Sports City. The meeting was attended by the officials of IPC, PSB, NESPAK and P3A Board. The minister expressed dissatisfaction over the delay and reprimanded the IPC’s officials for not executing the projects. “There is no progress despite the lapse of seven months which shows the non-serious attitude of the Ministry,” said the minister, adding that it’s public money which must be utilised for the public.

The sports city has 14 stadiums and courts of sports, such as cricket, football, hockey, volleyball, squash, table tennis, lawn tennis, badminton court and other games besides swimming pools which was started by the minister. However, in 2018, Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) stopped this project as a result athletes were deprived from this facility.

During the meeting, the minister also directed the P3A Board to establish a company on December 15, which will help in maintenance of the Sport City while recommending people from different walks of life in the company. The minister observed that CDWP had directed to establish such a company that would be responsible for the management and maintenance of the Sports City.

The minister noted that Narowal Sport City should be a national asset that not only becomes the face of Pakistani sports spirit but a profitable and credible resource for the country. “This project should be functional on March 23, 2023 and necessary procurements should be ready before the deadline,” directed the minister, while highlighting the significance of the public interest project.