ISLAMABAD: The members of the Senate standing committee on communication accused the PML-N government of creating confusion regarding projects that fall under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The Senate panel in its meeting on Monday refused to accept that eastern and central route of the corridor fall under CPEC project. They said that only western route comes under CPEC and by including eastern and central route the government is misleading people.
Senator Kalim Agha reminded that during the All Parties Conference (APC) held in January this year, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not inform about any eastern or central route.
Agha further said that an amount of Rs50 billion were allocated for eastern route however eastern route does not fall under the CPEC.
Later the chairman of the senate standing committee Daud Khan Achakzai claimed that Rs3 billion, provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), were allocated for the western route of the CPEC for 2015-16, but so far not even a single penny has been spent on it.
The National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman Shahid Ashraf Tarar informed the committee members that currently there are two projects that NHA is working on that fall under eastern route of CPEC. One is Thakot-Havelian and the project cost is $1.34 billion and the other is Multan-Sukkur project worth $2.9 billion, he said.
However the chairman NHA said that the eastern route is also part of CPEC, but none of the members of the senate standing committee agreed with him.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2016.