China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a long-term broad framework with multiple sectoral projects: Ahsan Iqbal

Islamabad, January 20, 2016 (PPI-OT): Minister Planning, Development and Reform Prof Ahsan Iqbal has said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a long-term broad framework with multiple sectoral projects, which will be completed in different phases through bilateral agreements agreed upon by both sides as a win-win equation.

“Prior to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, there was nothing in papers even, and it has been developed to the present shape after series of joint meetings of experts from both sides,” he said, while talking to the media men at a local here on Wednesday. Prof Ahsan Iqbal mentioned various misgivings entertained by certain quarters from time-to-time.

He categorically stated that the amount of $46 billion was an investment, terms of investment were transparent, no change at all in the route, equitable distribution of the industrial clusters in the provinces sans being provincial centric, and encouraging business-to-business mode of working.

“Not even a coma of the initial agreement reached at the first APC has been changed till date, and numerous presentations have been given to the standing committees, parliamentarians and political leaders,” he said, adding that misperceptions had grown out of certain misunderstandings, which would be addressed whenever the quarters concerned would like to do.

He mentioned that the initial investment worth $46 billion would be primarily used for developing the infrastructure and producing energy, and the bulk of this amount, that is, $35 billion would be utilised for energy, and the rest for developing the infrastructure. “Out of this, energy projects worth $11.5 billion are for Sindh, $7.1 billion for Balochistan, and the Punjab is the third with a share of $6.9 billion.

Potential of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is hydel, and multiple investments are being made in the construction of dams, which takes longer to complete,” he said, while maintaining that no provincial bias existed since commercial viability of each and every projects was to agree upon by both sides. He told the journalists that China worked on three principles, that is, scientific planning, step-by-step development and choosing easy path first.

”The road network is being developed by prioritising the commercial viability, since utility of investment is kept in mind prior to the initiating a project. Hence, the CPEC is only about the Chinese investment, but domestic as well while making efforts to tap international finances as well,” he said. He mentioned that the Karachi-Peshawar motorway was an old project, and its feasibility had been developed as the principle of commercial viability.

He elaborated the process of consultations among all the federating units at the Joint Coordination Committee meetings for which provincial planning and development ministers were invited. “Every project is bilaterally agreed after consultations of the working groups of the sectors concerned. Hence no project can be made area specific. However, coal projects will have an inherent bias because of the source existing there, which cannot be applied to other provinces,” he said, adding that the Lahore Orange Line Project was mutual between the Punjab government and the Chinese, and other provinces could follow the example.

He told the media men that the first phase of the CPEC projects would be completed by 2017-18, second by 2020 and the third by 2030. While replying to a question regarding improving the transmission system, he said $3 billion would be used for upgrading the distribution network.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
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Tel: +92-51-9252323 and +92-51-9252324
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