Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Chaudhry Ahsan Iqbal has brushed aside reports about any concerns of the Chinese government on the pace of implementation of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said the project was furthering smoothly and with required pace of work.
“We have made it a flagship project from a piece of paper just within three years. It is furthering smoothly and there are no concerns internally or by the Chinese government.
Both Pakistan and China are executing it with a sense of mission and legacy,” he categorically stated in a private news channel’s programme.
He said it is not the project of one department; it is rather a crosssectoral and inter-ministerial project that needed a team approach and we have addressed this issue by empowering different departments through Planning Commission instead of creating any super authority.
“Had we created authorities then the work could have not been furthering at this pace instead it could have been stalled due to internal differences,” he said.
Ahsan Iqbal said, China has also has no reservations on the pace of work rather they have appreciated our efficiency and commitment at every forum.
Answering a question about differences between political leadership and Chinese Ambassador’s meeting with Army Chief, he said, political differences have been ironed out at two All Parties Conferences.
As far as the meetings of the Chinese ambassador with Army Chief were concerned, Ahsan Iqbal said, at these meetings security issues are discussed as this task has been assigned to Pakistan Army.
“Security aspect is dealt by Army while developmental aspect is looked after by the civilian leadership and they are as competent as anyone else.”
However, he said, if anyone would ask him about establishment of an authority, he will give his viewpoint. Ahsan Iqbal said “there are misconceptions that the money has directly landed to national kitty.
But, it is not true because out of US $46 billion, US $35 billion is a private sector investment like the IPP mode and remaining $11 billion is a concessional loan for infrastructure development and to be spent by the Chinese government through open bidding.”
He rejected the impression that Gadani Power Project was shelved and said, study of tidal wave was taking too long. Since we urgently needed power for our growing economy, we preferred short term projects. Work on Gadani project was also continued. -APP