Minister directs removal of bottlenecks in ML-1

Gives directions during a meeting held to review the progress of CPEC projects

APP November 23, 2022


Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday directed the stakeholders concerned to expedite the implementation of consensus reached between Pakistan and China during the 11th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the CPEC last month.

The minister gave the directions during a meeting held to review the progress of the CPEC projects. The meeting was attended by the executive director of CPEC, the planning commission and representatives from other ministries.

Iqbal also directed officials to remove bottlenecks and expedite the implementation of Main Line-1 (ML-1) and the Karachi Circular Railway (KC) projects under CPEC.

The 11th JCC was held last month and was co-chaired by the planning minister and the Vice Chairman National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China Lin Nianxiu, in which both sides agreed to accelerate CPEC projects.

Similarly, several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were also signed during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent visit to China.

During the meeting on Tuesday, the conveners of the Joint Working Groups (JWGs) on energy, transport infrastructure, Gwadar, socio-economic development, security, long-term planning of CPEC, industrial cooperation, international cooperation, science and technology, and agricultural cooperation apprised the minister about the progress since the JCC took place.

The minister also directed the Embassy of Pakistan in China to hold a meeting with the Chinese side for a follow-up on decisions taken in the 11th JCC and during the prime minister's visit to China.

He also asked the embassy to arrange an online meeting with the vice chairman of NDRC to review the progress of CPEC projects.

“The CPEC is a vital national project, which has transformed the relationship between the two countries into a strong economic partnership,” the minister said, adding that the next phase of CPEC envisages the development of industrial cooperation.

He directed concerned ministries to speed up work on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for attracting share from the relocation of Chinese Industry to Pakistan with low cost of production.

Ahsan Iqbal also directed the officials to coordinate with the Chinese authorities for the early completion of International Gwadar Airport.

“The Gwadar International Airport should be functional before June 2023,” the minister said while directing the relevant stakeholders to engage their counterparts in China so the launch could be ensured timely.


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