ISLAMABAD: Cabinet Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has decided to perform ground breaking of an important phase of Western Route of the corridor later this month.
This was stated by Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar while briefing media about the committee’s decisions in Islamabad today. He said the step would mitigate the sense of deprivation of the people living along the Western Corridor. He said sixty per cent work on Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan Section of the corridor has already been completed. The Minister said the government is also focusing on connecting the missing links in the Eastern Corridor and in this connection work on Sukkur-Hyderabad Section will be started in the next six to eight months. Khusro Bukhtiar said the committee ruled out diversification of funds from CPEC projects because all sectors under the corridor have been included in Sustainable Development Goals.
He said that the twenty-eight billion dollar worth of projects are presently under implementation with the cooperation of China. He said the committee specially specified six sectors for development under CPEC, including agriculture, education, health, poverty alleviation, water supply and sanitation. The minister said the Chinese government has decided to release one billion dollars for these projects in the next three years and half of the amount will be spent during the first year.
Planning Minister said agriculture is a priority area under CPEC and a team of Chinese experts will soon visit Pakistan to identify areas for development of food processing so as to boost agricultural exports. He said the cabinet committee also decided to perform ground breaking of Gwadar International Airport this month. He said the committee also decided to set up CPEC Business Forum at the earliest.