Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday demanded immediate summoning of All Parties Conference (APC) to ensure smooth completion of all projects of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and other smaller provinces under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The demand was made by Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak during the post 6th Joint Cooperation Committee meeting held here at the Planning Commission and chaired by Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning, Development and Reform (PD&R).
The meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Raja Farooq Haider, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Hafeezur Rehman and provincial ministers from Sindh and Punjab. Senior officials from the federal and provincial government were also present in the meeting.
A well-placed source told Pakistan Today that Khattak asked the federal government that the prime minister may ensure that all the projects of smaller provinces approved in the 6th JCC in Beijing may be completed on time.
“Moreover, the PTI leader also called for taking on board all the political parties from federally administered tribal areas (FATA) that have reservations for being ignored in the CPEC. He also asked that KP and other provinces and federating units may be given their due share in the industry transfer promised under the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the CPEC,” the source added.
The source said that the chief ministers from the smaller provinces also supported the proposal raised by Khattak making the planning minister to comply with the demand.
Expressing their full support to the CPEC, federal and provincial governments agreed to complete homework on new projects approved at 6th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) to ensure its speedy and timely implementation.
Later, addressing a joint press conference, Ahsan Iqbal said that leadership has agreed to complete homework on new projects included in CPEC during 6th JCC in order to avoid any delay. He informed that Pakistani sides of the Joint Working Groups (JWGs) will meet soon to finalise new projects in energy, infrastructure and other sectors.
“This participation helped in the inclusion of new projects in CPEC portfolio, thus increasing its outlay up to 50billion dollars”.
Addressing concerns regarding CPEC, he said, “It is illogical to say that a large number of expensive Chinese workers would come to Pakistan and would occupy the job market here; jobs for Pakistani labourers would be multiplied with completion of industrial cooperation under CPEC.”
Ahsan Iqbal further reiterated his stance, saying that the CPEC is the most transparent projects in Pakistan and questions on its transparency is a baseless practice. “All the projects in energy sector or operating in independent power producing mode (IPP) where the tariff is determined by the NEPRA, an independent body, so there is no room for questions” he remarked.
“Infrastructure projects have been initiated with concessional financing, thus it is awarded through a clear and set procedure” Ahsan Iqbal informed, adding that Chinese administration gives names of three companies for each project where the lowest bidder is decided by Pakistan.
On this occasion, KP CM said that all his reservations have been addressed; therefore, his government is busy to maximise the benefits of CPEC. He informed that his government would organise a road show in the month of March at China to attract investment for agriculture, mining and tourism sector in KP.