Work on CPEC projects needs acceleration: Asad Umar

Pakistani Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Monday afternoon said the work on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects needed acceleration.

Chairing the second meeting of the Pak-China relations steering committee here, the minister reviewed the ongoing projects under CPEC and discussed the issues faced by investors.

He issued directions to expedite the pace of work on the ongoing projects under CPEC, said an official statement.

Discussing the delays in CPEC energy projects owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee directed the power division to formulate a policy to deal with COD extensions issues of the power projects.

The power division was also directed to ensure the availability of sufficient power for the operationalization of the 660 KV HVDC Matari Lahore Transmission Line from September 01, 2021.

The committee also directed National Electric Power Regulation Authority (NEPRA) to finalize the tariff for the project during the testing stage.

The meeting also discussed the 884 MW Suki Kinari project and gave directions to relevant authorities to settle the project operational issues as a priority.

The chair directed Ministry of Communication to expedite work on the Thakot–Raikot Road and, Zhob-Quetta road project and submit proposals in this regard to the cabinet by next week to move the projects to next level of development.

The committee was apprised of the growing interest of local and foreign investors in the Dhabeji Special Economic Zone, it was pointed out that any delay in the finalization of the developer would be detrimental to the project. Minister Planning informed that he would take up this issue with Chief Minister Sindh.

Representative from Board of Investment informed the committee that Board member list for Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FOEDMC) has been finalized and will soon be notified.

Utilities provision to Gwadar Port and Free Zone also came under discussion. The meeting was informed of prospective investments in Liquefied Natural gas (LNG) at Gwadar.

The chair directed Ministry of Petroleum to help facilitate investors and coordinate with relevant ministries including Ministry of Maritime Affairs to resolve the investors issues on priority. Senior government officials from all the relevant ministries attended the meeting.