QUETTA: Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal Friday said, as Baluchistan was a gate way of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), reservations of the province’s politiacal leadership have been removed.
“I myself along with Chief Minister Baluchistan held meetings with leaders of political parties, industrialists and traders and removed their reservations on the CPEC,” he said, adding, Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif himself himself was taking special interest in the development of province.
He said that one access of CPEC is from Gwadar to Zhob which would bring progress and prosperity in backward areas of Baluchistan. “CPEC, a roject to be completed during period from 2015 to 2030 have several energy generation projects worth US $ 36 billion besides establishment of several industrial zones along the corridor,” he added.
The minister said that all facilities provided on eastern route of CPEC would also be available on the western route. “No cut will be made in the federal development funds allocated for Baluchistan,” he assured, adding that Prime Minister has provided a special grant of Rs 01 billion for Mangi Dam project in Baluchistan.
Ahsan said that the federal government has been funding several projects to cater water need of Baluchistan including the provincial capital Quetta.
The federal government through Higher Education Commission has also approved universities and educational projects for Baluchistan, he said.
Ahsan Iqbal said that another two corridors from Baluchistan to Central Asia through Afghanistan and from Peshawar to Central Asia via Afghanistan would also be built. “A new economic zone is being formed which include China, Pakistan and Central Asia,” he said. He said that CPEC is a national project which has complete transparency.
He said that road, energy and industrial zones projects pertaining to CPEC would be financed by China, Pakistan and Asian Development Bank. He said that Chief Minister Baluchistan has a progressive vision for the development of Baluchistan.
In reply to a question, he said that no change was being made in the design of CPEC. Most of power generation projects of CPEC were coal based as Thar Coal Reserves could meet our requirement for two centuries. The CPEC has power production projects would generate 17,000 MW electricity including 4,500 MW in Baluchistan, he added.
He said that US $ 04 billion were being spent on Lakho dam project in Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa province.
He said that Gwadar deep sea port project would have 17 kilometers long Express Way from the port and an international airport. He said that Kachhi canal project would be completed this year which would irrigate agricultural land in Dera Bugti and adjoining areas.
The minister was addressing a press conference along with Chief Minister Baluchistan, Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri, Parliamentary leader of Pashtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party, Abdul Raheem Ziaratwal, senior leader of National Party, Sardar Aslam Bezinjo, Pakistan Muslim League-N leaders including Prince Ali Ahmed, Tahir Mehmood and Jamal Shah and President, Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Jamal Tarakai.