ISLAMABAD: Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to arrange a virtual meeting with Chinese authorities on expediting the CPEC projects.
Talking to The News on Tuesday night, he said Pakistan and China had held a meeting for moving towards the bidding process of phase-1 of ML-1, which seeks upgradation of rail line from Karachi to Peshawar, which will be executed at an estimated cost of $3.1 billion. The total cost of ML-1 had been estimated at $9.8 billion. “We are trying to come up with a 300 MW power project for Gwadar to replace the existing one based on coal,” he said.
According to an official statement, Ahsan on Tuesday reviewed the progress of CPEC projects after the 11th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting held last month and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent visit to China. He directed officials to expedite the implementation of ML-1 and KCR projects, which were agreed in the 11th JCC meeting and remove all bottlenecks in this regard. He directed the Embassy of Pakistan in China to hold a meeting with the Chinese side to follow up decisions taken during the JCC meeting and the PM’s visit to China. He asked the embassy to arrange an online meeting with the NDRC vice chairman to review the progress on CPEC projects. He directed the ministries concerned to speed up work on Special Economic Zones for attracting share from relocation of Chinese industry to Pakistan with low-cost production.
He directed officials to coordinate with Chinese authorities for the early completion of the International Gwadar Airport. “The Gwadar International Airport should be functional before June 2023,” he said while directing stakeholders to engage their counterparts in China.
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