Central Development Working Party (CDWP) yesterday approved eleven development projects worth Rs.10.078 billion including four higher education projects. It also recommended Procurement of 58 Diesel Electric Locomotive worth Rs.16,300 million to ECNEC after giving clearance to it and accorded approval to concept clearance of the two projects.

The meeting of CDWP was chaired by Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal, which took up the development projects in water resources, transport & communication, physical planning & housing and education sectors. The foreign exchange component of the approved projects totaled Rs.1693.182 million. 

Talking to the media after the CDWP meeting Ahsan Iqbal said the opponents of CPEC are presenting twisted facts about the project. There is no truth in the rumors of not discussing the western route with China, Ahsan Iqbal said. “We have even presented the map of the western route but some people are making it controversial,” Ahsan said.

The $ 46 billion investment under CPEC is the lifeline for the country’s economy and the project cannot be completed without developing consensus among the provinces, Ahsan Iqbal said.

The planning minister said that CPEC is a national project and its enemies are presenting twisted truth about project which is creating suspicion. “We will protect CPEC the way we have protected our nuclear programme,” he claimed. Ahsan Iqbal said that the political leadership can create consensus on the projects of national importance as we have to work together for the development of the country.

Regarding the PIA privatization he said that some political elements are misguiding the airline employees. Those people are against the privatization of PIA who is scared of losing their free tickets and closing of their theft, the minister said.

He said that the present government has increased PIA fleet from 18 airplanes to 38 in the past two years. He asked PTI chief Imran Khan to shun the politics of dharna as the politics of violence and negativity is not going to work anymore.

Earlier in the CDWP meeting Ahsan Iqbal directed that projects should be completed within the given time, approved cost and resources. CDWP approved Strengthening & Enhancement of Academic Provision in Faculty of Life & Environment Sciences, University of Peshawar worth Rs.547.215 million. It also approved Development of University of Balochistan, Quetta project at the cost of Rs.1096.74 million with foreign exchange component of RS.571.073 million.

Establishment & Upgrading of Core Engineering Department in Mardan Campus of UET Peshawar at the cost of o Rs.1382.599 million was approved with FEC of Rs.763.485 million. CDWP also approved Strengthening of Academic & Research Program of Mehran University of Engineering & Technology Jamshoro at the cost of Rs.927.148 million with Rs.358.624 million. In water resources sector CDWP approved Feasibility Study of Akhori Dam project at the cost of RS.286.857 million.

Construction of Sanam Dam project in District Lower Dir was also approved. Ahsan Iqbal said that this project would benefit the backward district of Lower Dir by catering the water supply needs for drinking and irrigation purposes. The project would cost Rs.944.673 million. In transport & communication sector, CDWP approved Construction of Fish Landing Jetty & allied Harbour Works at Surbandar Eastbay Gwadar at the cost Rs.1650.342 million.

It also approved Construction of Fish Landing Jetty and allied Harbour Works at Pishukan Eastbay Gwadar at the cost of Rs. 1869.299 million. CDWP approved one project of Ministry of Railway and referred one of its projects to ECNEC after giving clearance to it. The approved project is up gradation of Terminal Facilities at Dry Port at the cost of Rs.1022.614 million. Procurement of 58 Diesel Electric Locomotives at the cost of Rs.16300 million was referred to ECNEC after approving it.

In physical planning & housing sector, CDWP approved construction of Complex for National Highways & Motorway Police at Rahim Yar Khan at the cost of Rs.113.093 million. It also approved construction of Residential & Non-Residential Buildings for Force HQ GB Scouts and 112 Wing at Skardu at the cost of Rs.237.217.

CDWP approved concept clearance proposal of Establishment of Cardiac Care Centre at AIMS, Islamabad at the cost of Rs.393.238 million. It also approved concept clearance for Establishment of Central Asian Regional Economic Corporation (CAREC) University in Islamabad. Ahsan Iqbal said that this university should be “university of tomorrow” by attracting the best human resource from the world for it.