ISLAMABAD: Various energy sector projects being set up under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will contribute over 17,000 megawatts of energy to the national grid on completion, a top-level huddle was told on Tuesday.
“CPEC would significantly help towards ensuring inclusive development especially the socio-economic development of the less-developed areas of the country,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office after a weekly federal cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The cabinet was given a detailed presentation on the CPEC including various projects being undertaken in energy sector, infrastructure, industrial cooperation and development of Gwadar. The statement, however, did not give details of these projects and the timeframe for their completion.
“It was informed that the energy sector and infrastructure development constituted the major areas under the first phase of CPEC—CPEC project would help increasing GDP [gross domestic product] growth and would strengthen various sectors of the economy.”
Official sources who attended the meeting said PM Abbasi, who is expected to visit China soon, will sign a related memorandum of understanding with the Chinese authorities for initiating energy projects under the CPEC on the sidelines of a key regional moot.
Presently, the federal government claims to have ended load shedding in Pakistan with the production of ‘surplus’ electricity but prolonged power outages after the advent of summer season have put to a question mark over these claims.
In a related development, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing also called on PM Abbasi before the cabinet’s Tuesday huddle. The PM’s upcoming visit to China for participation in the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) and issues of mutual interest were discussed in the meeting, a PM Office statement said.
The forum will be held in China’s southern island province of Hainan from April 8 to 11.
The cabinet approved Prevention of Smuggling of Migrant Ordinance, 2018. The ordinance aims at curbing the smuggling of Pakistani nationals to foreign countries and that of foreigners to Pakistan.
In the light of existing constitutional provisions, an ordinance, which is promulgated by the president of Pakistan, remains in effect for 120 days and can be extended for one time for as many days (120 days) before it lapses permanently and requires parliamentary legislation in order to be become a law.
Annual Report and Audited Financial Statement of Audit Oversight Board for the Year, 2017 was presented before the cabinet.
The cabinet approved signing of seven memorandums of understanding with various countries aimed at enhancement of economic and strategic cooperation and carrying out a feasibility study of a project. It also assented to ceilings for allocation of grants-in-aid to bar councils and bar associations for 2017-18.
The cabinet approved appointment of the Utility Stores Corporation managing director. A proposal to grant additional charge of the post of the Port Qasim Authority Karachi chairman to the Ports and Shipping director general was also approved.
It also approved a summary regarding rationalisation of the prices of computerised national identity cards (CNIC) and national identity cards for overseas Pakistanis (NICOP).