Tuesday Jan 12, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor offered a window of opportunity that would bring socio-economic development to the country, particularly in the two least developed provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In a meeting with a group of Chinese investors, the prime minister said the Corridor was a game changer and all the provinces of the country would equally reap benefits under it. The meeting was also informed that preliminary work on the construction of the economic zones has started.
He said the CPEC was a fusion of multiple development projects aiming at the prosperity and well-being of citizens of the country and the region at large.
The Chinese investors expressed keen interest in developing hydropower projects in the country.
Appreciating the economic policies of the government, they expressed the confidence that the transparent investment regime in the country would attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The prime minister welcomed the interest shown by the chairman for investment in Pakistan’s hydel energy sector and said that the hydro-electric sector was a priority of the government.
He said Pakistan was resolving its energy crisis by investing in different sources of energy, including solar, thermal and hydro energy projects.
The government had already secured billions of dollars from international financial institutions for the construction of the Dasu dam, he added.
He said that future investment by China’s Three Gorges International in the hydel energy sector would enable the government to overcome the energy shortfall.
The meeting was informed that a joint working group was being formulated under the CPEC framework under which all provinces were being consulted to give technically sound and financially viable recommendations of industrial and economic zones.
The meeting was apprised that the priority energy projects under the CPEC included the Port Qasim Electric Company, Coal-Fired Plant (1,320 MW), Sahiwal, Coal-fired Power Plant (1,320MW) Engro, Thar, Coal-fired Power Plant (1,320 MW) Surface Mine in Block II of Thar Coalfield, 6.5 mtpa Gwadar Coal Power Project (300 MW), Hubco Coal Power Plant (660 MW), Rahimyar Khan Coal Power Project (1,320 MW), SSRL, Thar Coal Block, 6.5mpta and CPIH Mine Mouth Power Plant, Thar, Sindh Coal Fired Power Project Thar Block I (1,320 MW), Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park, Bahawalpur, (1,000 MW), Dawood Wind Farm Bhambore Sindh (50MW) UEP, 100MW Wind Farm Jhimpir, Sindh, Sachal, 50MW Wind Farm Jhimpir ,Sindh, Sunnec and 50MW Wind Farm, Nooriabad, Thatta Sindh.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Gwadar was being uplifted as an international free port and the government was undertaking several projects for its development.
East bay Expressway II, the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), Expansion of Multipurpose Terminal, including breakwater and dredging, infrastructure for Free Zone and EPZs port related industries, necessary facilities of fresh water treatment and supply, hospital, technical and vocational institute, the only aviation project (New Gwadar International Airport), Energy projects including Gaddani Hubco and Gwadar Power Plants(2,940 MW), Free Zone of CPEC in Gwadar and development of Smart City at Gwadar were also part of the Gwadar uplift projects.
The meeting was informed that preliminary workings on the proposed sites for construction of economic zones have been identified by the Board of Investment (BoI) in KP and Balochistan.
The marked places in KP for construction of economic zones are Mansehra, Nowshera, Hattar, Ghazi, DI Khan, Kohat, Karak and Bannu, while in Balochistan Turbat, Khuzdar, Dasht, Bostan, Qila Saifullah and Zhob.
The prime minister will announce the finalised sites for construction of economic zones in KP and Balochistan after consultation with the provincial governments and the political leadership.
The meeting was further briefed that the existing roads were being upgraded to interconnect different areas of the country, as the 650 KM Gwadar-Surab road was being completed on a priority to link Gwadar Port with the rest of the country. The upgradation of the Quetta-DI Khan road was also imperative while keeping in view its importance.
The meeting discussed in detail the CPEC projects in KP.
It was briefed that KP would play a role in the Trade and Logistic Passage Zone.
Multiple projects would be executed in KP under the CPEC, including rail and road networks like the Swat Motorway Project (81 km), worth $365 million, oil and gas sector, development of Industrial and Economic Zones, mineral processing and development zones, the telecommunication sector, agriculture, and human resource development among others.—Originally published in The News