Islamabad, Federal Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Prof Ahsan Iqal on Thursday directed all ministries and divisions to finalize proposals of development projects for an up-coming Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) to be held in July 2023.
The Minister gave these directions while chairing a meeting to review progress over CPEC projects. The meeting was attended by the Secretary Ministry of Planning Development & Special Initiatives, Chief Economist, PD CPEC, Senior specialists CPEC secretariat, representatives of the various ministries and divisions, officials of Pakistan embassy in China, officials of Chinese embassy in Pakistan and other stakeholders.
During the meeting, the Minister was apprised over the progress of CPEC projects particularly after the 11th JCC meeting held in October 2022 and the recent visit of the Minister to China. It is noted that in April last month, the Minister visited China and held meetings with key Chinese officials to expedite the CPEC projects. The CPEC agreement was signed between Pakistan and China on July 5, 2013 during the PML-N’s tenure and ten years will be completed in July this year.
During the meeting, the Minister directed the concerned stakeholders to hold meetings of JWGs on a regular basis so that projects can be completed timely. The Minister also directed the ministries to finalize proposals with a concrete agenda for up-coming JCC in which both countries will rejoice the 10 years’ celebration of CPEC. Each ministry should prepare a report on its project that has economic and social benefits for Pakistan, said the Minister, while reiterating that the decade of CPEC should be celebrated very well while rejecting the negative propaganda against CPEC.
Since the government came into power in April last year, the CPEC projects have been expedited and the first visit of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to China was a clear indication that the government is committed to complete CPEC projects which remained neglected by the previous government, said the Minister.
The Minister also directed the relevant ministry to expedite work on Special Economic Zones SEZs in order to gain a piece of the Chinese industry’s relocation to Pakistan with low-cost production.