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MPs body seeks details of evacuation, transmission plan

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ISLAMABAD –  The Parliamentary Committee on CPEC yesterday asked the Ministry of Water and Power to provide details of the evacuation and transmission plan for power projects being executed under the corridor.

This was disclosed by Chairman Parliamentary Committee on CPEC, Mushahid Hussain while talking to newsmen after the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee of the CPEC here.

Mushahid said that Gilgit-Baltistan was being fully included in CPEC through eco-friendly economic projects and an economic zone will be established in Gilgit Baltistan.

He said that the committee was briefed on the projects of Western Route and it was as per the decisions of the 28 May All Parties Conference.”We have asked the ministry to provide complete evacuation plan for the CPEC energy projects in the next meeting of the committee,” he maintained

Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan, Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman, while talking to media said on the occasion that the parliamentary committee has assured him that the province will be fully incorporated in the project and they will get the same treatment as per the other four provinces.”I was assured that GB will also get an Economic Zone and other projects,” he added.

Earlier, presiding over the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC here Mushahid Hussain said that every province would have a special industrial zone under CPEC. The committee was briefed by Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal.

The minister informed the committee the Joint Coordination Committee, which is the apex body for the CPEC, will hold its 6th meeting in Beijing on November 28-29, 2016. Before that meeting, the Joint Working Groups will be held during the early part of November. He also announced that 5 joint Pakistan-China workshops will be to learn from the Chinese experience in urban and rural development, poverty alleviation and industrial parks.

Ahsan Iqbal said that as per directions of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC, all the provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan would be invited to the JCC meeting in Beijing. Ahsan Iqbal also briefed the Parliamentary Committee on his recent visit to China, along with the Railways Minister, Kh Saad Rafiq, where the decision was taken for upgradation and dualization of the Pakistan Railways main line track from Karachi to Torkham, at a cost of $8 billion, of which $5.5 billion would be a concessional loan from China.

Senator Mushahid Hussain said that CPEC should move forward with full consensus, transparency and inclusive development particularly that of less developed areas like Balochistan , Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan’.

He also said that Gilgit-Baltistan was being fully included in CPEC through Eco-friendly economic projects in different areas. He said a regional grid for G-B was being established, plus a plan for tourism on Attabad lake, Khunjerab-Islamabad fibre optic cable, initiative for mining of minerals, Hydel projects, upgradation of KKH highway, establishing an Engineering University and a Medical College. Senator Shibli Faraz asked some CPEC-related written questions from Ahsan Iqbal, to which he said the answers would be provided by November 1.

Chairman, NHA, on the occasion, briefed the Parliamentary Committee on progress towards the construction of the Western route of the CPEC, which he explained with detailed maps and statistics, that the policy guidelines of the APC of May 28, 2015 and January 15, 2016, were being fully implemented. He also assured that the Western Route was being given priority and it be completed by August 2018.

The meeting was attended by Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Aftab Sherpao, Senator Shibli Faraz, Senator Salahuddin Tirmizi, Shahji Gul Afridi, Senator Talha Mahmood, Senator Hasil Bizenjo, Rana Afzal, Ghous Bux Mehar, Ejaz Jhakhrani and Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch.

Special Secretary of National Assembly, Qamar Sohail Lodhi, and Secretary of the of Parliamentary Committee, Khalid Mahmood, were also present.

Published in The Nation newspaper on 27-Oct-2016

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