Wednesday May 22, 2024

Game changer CPEC gets Rs21 bn for 2020-21

By Ansar Abbasi
June 14, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the year 2020-21 contains around Rs21 billion allocation for projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - once considered a game changer for Pakistan.

Except a few major road and rail projects under the CPEC, the PSDP does not allocate money for any significant scheme. There is no mention of any allocation for any of the much-discussed industrial zones, which were to be established under the CPEC to general industrial and economic growth of the country.

The most conspicuous allocation under CPEC in the 2020-21 PSDP is for the construction of Zhob to Kuchlak Road, CPEC Western Corridor as Rs10 billion has been allocated for this project.

For the up-gradation of Pakistan Railways existing Main Line-1 (ML-I) and establishment of dry port near Havelian (2018-22) under Phase-1 of CPEC, the PSDP allocates Rs6 billion.

Construction of Karakorum Highway, Phase-II Havelian- Thakot (118.057 KM), is also part of CPEC for which an amount of Rs2.5 billion has been earmarked in the PSDP.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor Support Project (CPECSP) at the Ministry of Railways is also being launched with an amount of Rs50 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year. An amount of Rs60 million has also been allocated for the establishment of Center of Excellence for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CoE-CPEC), PIDE.

The PSDP also promises the establishment of CPEC Support Unit (CSU) for projects and activities in GPA. Rs17.9 million has been allocated for the project.

For the expansion and upgradation of NGMS (next generation mobile service) (3G/4G) Services and Seamless Coverage along Karakorum Highway in support of CPEC in GB, the PSDP allocates Rs709 million.

For the construction of offices for the Intelligence Bureau along with CPEC in Soost, Gwadar, Khuzdar, Turbat, Mansehra, Gilgit, the PSDP allocates Rs40 million. This project will help improve security of the CPEC.

For the academic collaboration under CPEC Consortium of Universities, the PSDP spares Rs175 million for the year 2020-21.

For the strengthening of Core Network and Expansion of PERN (Pakistan Education and Research Network) footprints through CPEC Optical Fiber (PERN-III), the PSDP allocated Rs500 million to the Higher Education Commission.

For the construction of seawater desalination plant at Gwadar, the PSDP allocates Rs700 million. The plant will desalinate five MGD (millions of gallons per day) from sea.

For the construction of Nokundi-Mashkhel Road under CPEC, the PSDP earmarks Rs1 billion. For the improvement and widening of Chitral-Booni-Mastuj-Shandur road under CPEC, a total of Rs350 million has been allocated.

The PSDP also envisages the establishment of Project Management Unit (PMU) on China Pakistan Economic Corridor - Industrial Cooperation Development Project - worth Rs80 million.