The Cabinet Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CCoCPEC), Thursday, approved several development projects including realignment of KKH from Thakot to Raikot, provision of utilities for CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZ), implementation plan for vacation of Pakistan Coast Guards (PCG) and Pakistan Navy (PN) land at Shamba Ismail, Gwadar and establishment of CPEC Business and Industrial Cooperation Tower.
The projects were approved during a meeting of CCoCPEC chaired by Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar at P-Block Secretariat.
The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CPEC Affairs Khalid Mansoor, and other relevant stakeholders.
The first agenda item was realignment of KKH from Thakot to Raikot was discussed in length. Secretary Ministry of Communication informed the meeting that PC-II for the realignment of KKH 250km was approved by the Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) and after that NESPAK has engaged to carry out the feasibility study.
He apprised the Committee that the engagement of Chinese consultancy team will be the responsibility of Chinese Government out of their funds and it will be considered as technical assistance to government of Pakistan.
The Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives directed Ministry of Communications specially the National Highways Authority (NHA) and the relevant stakeholders to meet the deadline, so development project could be completed in time.
During the meeting, the Minister for Planning has also given a deadline of 30 days to complete the game plan of Rashaki Special Economic Zone (SEZ), KPK, Dhabeji SEZ, Sindh, Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Punjab and Bostan SEZ, Balochistan, while reviewing the progress on provision of Utilities for CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
The meeting also discussed the implementation plan for vacation of PCG and PN land at Shamba Ismail Gwadar in length. The Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives directed the relevant stakeholders to hand over 52 acres land for projects. The meeting was informed that the concerned authority was interested to keep 20 acres land due to security reasons.
According to the sources, keeping in view the ground realities, PN’s mandate for defence/security of Gwadar Port, following implementation/vacation plan was submitted for consideration of CCoCPEC: (i) PN is to coordinate with GPA and identify the location/coordinates of 20 acres of land at Shamba Ismail, Gwadar essential for seaward security;(ii) GPA is to transfer identified 20 acres of land at Shamba Ismail, Gwadar to PN ;(iii) PN while retaining possession of 20 acres of land, is to vacate remaining land at Shamba Ismail to transfer of 20 acres of land by GPA. Subsequently, GPA is to handover the land vacated by PN to concession holder and; (iv) in lieu of 20 acres’ land awarded to, PN, GDA is to provide GPA 20 acres of land at alternate location. GPA is to coordinate to handing over land to concession holder.
The meeting also approved the establishment of CPEC Business and Industrial Cooperation Tower in Islamabad with Public Private Partnership basis and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) will be engaged for land acquisition. The Committee recommended Public-Private Partnership between the CDA and Chinese side.
The meeting was informed that under the project, eight multi-storey CPEC Towers in Gwadar, all provinces including in Islamabad will be established.
The story was originally published in Business Recorder on January 18, 2022.