Pakistan shows commitment to CPEC, allocates Rs 23 billion
by Shafqat Ali
ISLAMABAD, June 16 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan has shown its commitment to play its role in the completion of the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with the massive allocation of Rs 23 billion for 17 projects.
Pakistan's Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives told Gwadar Pro that the government was contributing in all ways possible to complete the CPEC projects on time. “The workforce is there, the money is there and the commitment is there. We are using all the ingredients to cross the line,” he remarked.
The minister said China was cooperating at all levels on CPEC and non-CPEC initiatives. “CPEC is not the only thing between Pakistan and China. We are working in all sectors together but CPEC itself is a big initiative,” he mentioned.
The official budget allocations revealed that the federal government had earmarked Rs 23 billion for 17 CPEC projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2021-22.
Rs 5 billion have been allocated for the construction of Zhob to Kuchlak Road-a a part of CPEC Western Corridor, of which the total cost is estimated at Rs 63 billion.
The government also allocated Rs 6 billion for the “Up-gradation of Pakistan Railways existing Main Line-1 (ML-1) and Establishment of Dry port near Havelian (2018-22) Phase-1.”
Another Rs 500 million has been allocated for the project “Preliminary Design /Drawings for Up-gradation/Rehabilitation of Mainline (ML-I) and Establishment of Dry port near Havelian under the CPEC and Hiring of Design/ Drawing Vetting Consultants.”
For the construction of CPEC’s Karakoram Highway (KKH) Phase-II Havelian-Thakot (118.057 KM), an amount of Rs 1.5 billion has been set aside.
For the land acquisition of Karachi-Lahore Motorway (Lahore-Abdul Hakeem, Multan-Sukkur, Sukkur Hyderabad motorway, the government has allocated Rs 4.611 billion.
The project “Land Acquisition and Resettlement for CPEC-Islamabad-Raikot Section. (Phase-I), Havelian-Thakot (120.12 km), has been allocated Rs 50 million.
The project “Nokundi- Mashkhel Road CPEC (Deposit Work)” would get Rs 1.5 billion, whereas an amount of Rs 2 billion has been set aside for the project “Improvement and widening of Chitral-Booni-Mastuj-Shandur.”
An amount of Rs 500 million has been allocated for a project “5 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) seawater Reverse Osmosis (RO) Sea Water Desalination Plant at Gwadar.
Another Rs 400 million has been earmarked for “Gwadar Smart Environmental and Sanitation System and Landfill.” Rs 150 million have been sidelined for “Academic Collaboration under CPEC Consortium of Universities”, and Rs 684 million have been set aside for “Strengthening of Core Network and Expansion of PERN footprints through CPEC Optical Fiber (PERN-III).”
The Pakistan government also allocated Rs 50 million each for the “Construction of Offices for Intelligence Bureau along with CPEC (Soost, Gawadar, Khuzdar, Turbat, Mansehra, Gilgit) and “Construction of Blacktop Road from CPEC Kharan Yak Mach Road to Gul Kharmagai, District Washuk”.
To establish CPEC Support Unit for Projects and Activities in Gwadar Port Authority (GPA), the government has allocated Rs 9.68 million. For the CPEC Center of Excellence Rs 150 million have been approved and for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Support Project (CPECSP) at the Ministry of Railways, an amount of Rs 200 million has been allocated.
Over the weekend, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said that the government would accelerate the implementation of CPEC and the focus in the next financial year, starting on July 1, would be on the completion of motorways and highways as well as the Main Line-1 (ML-1) project.
Tarin said 17 big CPEC projects amounting to $ 13 billion had been completed so far. Another 21 projects, he said, were ongoing amounting to $ 21 billion. An additional 26 strategic projects were in the pipeline amounting to $ 28 billion.