ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday informed the Senate that majority of the workers engaged for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects were Pakistanis.

Answering a question during question hour, the minister rejected the impression that CPEC projects were being executed by Chinese workforce.

“Majority of engineers and workers are from Pakistan. They are performing in power as well as project management sectors”, he remarked.

He said in-time completion of projects was responsibility of the contractor and appropriate actions have been mentioned in contract in case of delay in completion of the projects.

He also informed that many of Pakistani engineers and workers were also imparted training by Chinese companies to hire their services.

Responding to a supplementary question, the minister said no such concession has been given to Chinese companies for import of goods for CPEC projects that may affect the local manufacturers.

“This is fact that Pakistani cement, steel and other industry related to construction business were thriving and I was recently informed that cement industry was planning to double its production to meet the needs,”, he added.

Ahsan Iqbal said the government had also taken steps like training of unskilled workers for CPEC related projects while local engineers, managers and semi-skilled workers hired by Chinese contractors for CPEC related projects are attaining hands on experience in their respective fields.

He further stated that keeping in view the rising demand of transportation and logistics, local transporters are also involved in providing the requisite transport facilities.

He said a CPEC consortium of Pakistan’s renowned business institutions is being contemplated with the aim to involve the academic sector to enhance research on various industrial and entrepreneurial opportunities related to top CPEC.

The consortium would include representation from all provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory.