ISLAMABAD   -   Central Development Working Party (CDWP) Friday approved four projects worth Rs 6.552 billion and recommended 04 projects worth Rs 237.178 billion to ECNEC for consideration.

Central Development Working Party (CDWP), which met under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, also approved China Pakistan Economic Corridor Support Project worth Rs. 2618.21 million as the scope of CPEC projects has been enhanced requiring separate coordination and research wings.

The approval of the project for CPEC secretariat support project was kept in tight secrecy and except Minister, Secretary planning and Project Director CPEC support project working paper of the project was kept hidden from the rest of the Planning Commission. In the previous two CDWP meetings the project was on the agenda but it didn’t get approval, official source told The Nation. According to source, a presentation was given to the Prime Minister Imran Khan about the proposed mergers of different CPEC projects and future scope of projects and after his approval it was presented to the CDWP.

Under the project CPEC Support Project, Centre of Excellence CPEC, and China Pakistan Friendly Exchange program will be merged together. The cost of three merged projects was Rs 2131 million and its future cost forecast for five years is Rs 2877 million, however it was rationalized and now the project was approved at the cost of Rs. 2618.21 million. The cost of the CPEC Support Project was Rs 732 million. The tenure of the project was 36 months from July 2017 to June 2020. The cost of Centre of Excellence CPEC project was Rs 1215 million. The tenure of the project was 54 months from January 2016 to June 2020. Similarly the cost of the China Pakistan Friendly Exchange Programme was Rs 184 and its tenure was 36 months from July 2018 to July 2021.

The project will be headed by Project Director of MP-I scale and who will be assisted by Director General/Deputy Director. There will be two wings of the project which will be Coordination/Monitoring Wing and Research wing. The source however said that all the mergers were done to make the CPEC secretariat more powerful and is the sitting Project Director of the CPEC Secretariat may be replaced.

The meeting of the CDWP was attended by Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, senior officials from federal and provincial governments projects related to energy, information technology, manpower, governance and education were presented in the meeting. Ministry of Planning and Development of Government of Sindh and Federal Ministry Economic Affairs Division presented a project ‘Sindh Secondary Education Improvement Project’ worth Rs. 11533.500 million. The purpose of this project is construction of 160 secondary school blocks which will be implemented in following ten districts of southern Sindh, Sujawal, Tharparker, Umerkot, Thatta, Badin, Sanghar, Tando M.Khan, Matiari, Mirpur Khas and Tando Allah Yar . The Central Development Working Party recommended the project to ECNEC for consideration. The second project related to education sector was presented by Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training titled “Improving Human Development Indicators in Pakistan (Education Related) with focus on Sustainable Development Goals “worth Rs.2995.896 million which was also approved in CDWP. Two projects related to energy sector were presented in the meeting. The first project ‘1230 MW combined Cycle Power Plant at Haveli Bahadur Shah, Distt. Jhang“ worth Rs. 97253.06 million and the second project titled “1230 MW combined Cycle Power Plant at Balloki, Distt. Kasur” worth Rs. 94037.63 million were presented. Both projects were referred to ECNEC for further approval. The project related to Manpower ‘Youth Education, Employment, Empowerment Project Sindh’ worth Rs. 1019.519 million was approved by CDWP. Two projects related to governance were presented. First project ‘Competitive and Liveable City of Karachi’ worth Rs. 33600.00 million was presented which aims to address the structure development needs of Karachi and to improve competitiveness and livability of Karachi. CDWP referred the project to ECNEC for further approval. The second project of governance was presented by Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms “China Pakistan Economic Corridor Support Project worth Rs. 2618.21 million as the scope of CPEC projects has been enhanced requiring separate coordination and research wings. One project related to information technology “High Impact Skills Boot Camp “of worth RS. 338.522 million was also given approval in CDWP meeting.