ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal has said that the newly-established China Aid agency will now look after the CPEC related matters instead of the MOFCOM.

“There was some delay in the execution of some projects because of the transition of work from one agency to the other but now the China Aid will look after the CPEC related matters and the execution of these projects will be accelerated,” Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said this while talking to media after the 54th CPEC progress review meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Minister PD&R and was attended by Chinese Ambassador.

He said that earlier China's MOFCOM was dealing the CPEC projects but now China has established new agency ‘China Aid’ which will look after the entire CPEC related matters. He said that the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan also participated in the meeting.

He said the change of government in Pakistan will not affect the CPEC projects as Chinese Ambassador told us that the Chinese support for the CPEC projects will continue on the already agreed terms. There are already framework agreements between China and Pakistan and there will be no change into it, he added.

Regarding ML-I, he said that they have already requested for Chinese concessional loan for the project.

Besides, the Ministry of Railways has also been asked to jointly scrutinise the PC-I of the project with the Ministry of Planning, he added.

He said that work on the projects which are already in pipeline will start soon. He said that all the concerned Ministries have been asked to finalise the feasibility studies of their projects by September.

He said that he got new life to complete the CPEC projects.

He said that out of total $46 billion CPEC portfolio, $30 billion has been energised in the past two years.

He said that the Planning Ministry has asked the Ministry of Agriculture to finalise the roadmap for the direct export of Pakistani Agri products to China within 10 days.

"Pakistani agri products is making its way indirectly to the Chinese market ,therefore, we have asked the Ministry of Agriculture to sit down with Chinese companies and finalise the roadmap for the direct export of Pakistani products to China.

Regarding the Special Economic Zone in the Federal capital, the Minister said they had issues with acquiring such a big piece of land in the Federal capital but now they have decided to acquire the land outside the ICT territory.

The land of the Special Economic Zone will be acquired near new Islamabad airport, he disclosed.

Regarding Karachi Circular Railway, the Minister said he had directed the Ministry of Railways and the Government of Sindh to sort out things within four weeks.

About Gwadar master city plan, the Minister said, it would be finalised within four months.

He said that the SEZ will be established at 100,000 acres of land in Gwadar.

He said that conspiracies were being hatched against the CPEC and misconceptions were created among the Federal and provincial governments.

He said that the war on terror is not yet over. "We are still in state of war and our police and Army are rendering sacrifices," he added.

He said for the last 70 years we had adopted geopolitical policies which have given us Kalashnikov and terrorism but now we are entering the geo-economics phase.

 

 

FAWAD YOUSAFZAI