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Cabinet body on CPEC okays Taunsa hydropower project

By Our Correspondent
November 07, 2020

LAHORE:Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht on Friday said that research, knowledge and acquisition of technology should be given top priority instead of investing in projects from China under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Punjab.

Chairing the maiden meeting of the Cabinet Committee constituted by the chief minister on CPEC projects in Punjab, the minister observed that the Chinese experience in industry, agriculture and advanced technology could ensure an increase in production. The committee unanimously approved Taunsa Hydropower Project Taunsa Barrage; two projects for construction of roads of the Communications Department. Reviewing the progress of ongoing projects, the minister directed the secretary transport to make a comprehensive plan to increase the number of passengers in the Orange Train. The energy department should focus on meeting the energy needs of the province instead of national level power plants, he said adding that the main function of the department should be supplying electricity to industrial zones, educational institutions and hospitals at reasonable rates.

The minister instructed giving representation to the public health engineering in the CPEC project. All departments should highlight the usefulness of the proposed schemes for CPEC, he added.

On behalf of the chairman planning and board, Chief Economist Nabil Tahir briefed the meeting on the objectives of the Cabinet Committee on CPEC Projects and said that the committee had a strategy for planning, implementing and monitoring CPEC projects. In addition, it will oversee all relevant activities for CPEC, including approval and implementation of projects. The CPEC committee was given a detailed briefing on the ongoing and proposed project of the Department of Industry, Agriculture, Transport, Energy and Livestock.

The energy department should ensure coordination with the federation for power supply in industrial zones, he said. Feasibility reports of all projects should be prepared and their usefulness should be highlighted. The Planning and Development Board should improve coordination with the CPEC Authority, the minister instructed. Chairman Planning and Development Board Sheikh Hamid Yaqoob directed all departments concerned to expedite the feasibility reports of the projects approved in the committee and work on ongoing projects.

The P&D Board will ensure the provision of funds. He stressed the need for the industry department to clarify issues related to the preparation of business models for business parks and land acquisition. Provincial Minister for Industry and Commerce Mian Aslam Iqbal, Provincial Minister for Energy Dr Akhtar Malik, Provincial Minister for Transport Jahanzeb Khan Khichi, Planning and Development Board Chairman Sheikh Hamed Yaqoob, Chief Economist Nabil Tahir and secretaries of relevant departments attended the meeting.