Islamabad - Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Thursday directed to look into the option of electric locomotives instead of diesel in ML-I project and Peshawar to Torkham Railway line may be made part of this project because it will enhance e connectivity upto Central Asian States.       

The Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that met under the Chairmanship of Sher Ali Arbab, MNA was briefed by Board of Investment, Power and Petroleum Divisions regarding provision of Gas and Electricity to three early Harvest Economic Zones-Rashakai, M-3 Industrial Estate Faisalabad and Dhabeji, Sindh. 

Secretary, Railways also briefed the Committee on the scope of project ML-1. Its approved cost is US$ 6.806 billion.  This project has been sub-divided into three packages and completion period is 8.5 years.  It includes upgradation and doubling of main line-1 (ML-1) from Karachi to Peshawar (1733 KM) and Havelian Dry Port, rehabilitation and construction of bridges, provision of modern signaling and telecom systems and conversion of level crossings into underpasses/flyovers. Establishment of Dry Port near Havelian and up-gradation of Walton Training Academy are components of this project. The Committee directed the Ministry to look into the option of electric locomotives instead of diesel because modern Railway systems in the world have switched over to electric engines for their high speed and being environment friendly. Peshawar to Torkham Railway line may be made part of this project because it will enhance e connectivity upto Central Asian States.       

The Chairman directed the concerned Ministries to resolve this issue at the earliest because success of CPEC depends heavily on industrialization in these Economic Zones. If these areas lack basic services for establishing industries, we will not be able to woo the business community to come and invest. Management of these SEZs was directed to sit with the concerned by today and sort out the issues and submit the timelines to this Secretariat by the next week. The default on timelines would not be tolerated anymore. The Committee taking cognizance of the issues remarked if any legislation is needed to remove the bottlenecks this option could be exercised to make CPEC a success story. Board of Investment was directed to consult with FBR for implementation of same tax regime as envisaged in the SEZs Act.    

The meeting was attended by Noor Alam Khan, Sadaqat Ali Khan Abbasi,Mr. Umar Aslam Khan, Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak,Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Mehnaz Akber Aziz,Raza Rabani Khar, and Zahid Akram Durrani.