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38th meeting (in-camera) of the Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

38th meeting (in-camera) of the Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was held today at 2:00 p.m. in Constitution Room, Parliament House, Islamabad under the Chairmanship of Mr. Sher Ali Arbab, MNA.

The Committee was briefed by the Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CPEC Affairs, Secretary, M/o Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Secretary, Board of Investment, Member (IR), FBR and other concerned regarding the status of CPEC Authority and the role of the newly formed Pak-China Relations Steering Committee, Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC), D.I. Khan and issues of Power Generation Companies with FBR regarding CPEC projects.

During briefing on compliance report on the recommendations of the Committee made in its previous meetings, Chairman Parliamentary Committee on CPEC highlighted the importance of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and remarked that hiccups in the establishment of SEZs will reverse all the progress made for yielding the economic dividends of CPEC. It is, therefore, exigent that ensuring effective and timely operationalization of SEZs under CPEC framework should be top priority of all the stakeholders.

The Committee expressed concerns over the incidents raising apprehensions over the security of Chinese personnel and CPEC projects and remarked that recurrence of such incidents could sabotage CPEC and undermine the confidence of investors. It was informed to the Committee that the security of CPEC and overall security of Balochistan has been reviewed at the highest level and strident measures are being taken to beef up full proof security for CPEC in specific and Balochistan in general.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Mr. Asad Umar briefed the Committee on the status of CPEC Authority and the role of newly formed Pak-China Relations Steering Committee. He remarked that the scope of CPEC has widened dramatically in this day and age therefore an excellent institutional architect has been put in place in form of CPEC Authority and Pak-China Relations Steering Committee to ensure better coordination, effective management at executive level and resolve all the operational intra-departmental issues being faced by CPEC.

The Committee highlighted the issues of water and electricity in Gwadar and remarked that people of Gwadar, being major stakeholders in CPEC should be provided all the basic amenities of life because one of the important goals of CPEC is to transform the lives of people of Balochistan. Moreover, the Committee emphasized on enhancing true projection of CPEC by apprising the general public regarding revolutionary benefits of CPEC projects so that local ownership of CPEC could be manifested at maximum level.

Hon. Chairman deferred the briefing on Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC), D.I Khan due to absence of some of concerned from relevant Divisions and directed Chairman, WAPDA and Secretary, Irrigation Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to brief the Committee on the said agenda in the meeting to be held tomorrow.

The meeting was attended by Mr. Umar Aslam Khan, MNA, Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali, MNA, Ms. Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak, MNA, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, MNA, Ms. Mehnaz Akber Aziz, MNA, Mr. Raza Rabani Khar, MNA, Mr. Zahid Akram Durrani, MNA, Senator Muhammad Tahir Bizinjo, Senator Khalida Ateeb and Senator Kauda Babar.