Speeding up development: Nawaz to induct ‘China cell’ into PM’s office

The cell will oversee all development projects in the country being carried out with Chinese help.

APP/Khaled Mehmood July 07, 2013
The government will do its utmost to bring the infrastructure of Gwadar port at par with Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore and turn the city into a major trade hub, says PM Sharif. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

GUANGZHOU: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced on Sunday that he will soon induct a ‘China cell’ in his office to supervise all development projects to be executed with the cooperation of Chinese companies in Pakistan.

“The cell will oversee the execution of all such development projects in order to steer the country out of its crisis,” the premier told reporters in Guangzhou.

Prime Minister Nawaz said his meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang and representatives of Chinese companies over Pakistan’s energy and infrastructure issues had been very fruitful.

“I have asked them to form a task force. We have already constituted one under federal minister Ahsan Iqbal ... We want the completion of such projects at the earliest,” he maintained.

Prime Minister Nawaz underscored the need for increasing the trade volume between Pakistan and China from the current level  of $12 billion, noting at the same time that the two-way trade figure for India and China stood at $60 billion to $70 billion.

Over the past decade, he said, no serious steps
have been taken on crunch questions like the energy crisis and the volatile law and order problems.

Talking about the 2,000-kilometre long trade corridor, Prime Minister Nawaz reiterated that the project would trigger socio-economic uplift not just for Pakistanis, but for the entire region. The government will do its utmost to bring the infrastructure of Gwadar port at par with Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore and turn the city into a major trade hub.

According to him, nearly 60 per cent of Pakistan’s trade was routed through Guangzhou region. Referring to delays pertaining to the 969MW Neelum-Jhelum hydel project, he lamented that the project had been left on the back-burner for the last three decades.

“No one thought about it… they just sat idly by,” he maintained, referring to previous governments. He declared those found responsible will be held accountable for showing such ‘slackness’.

“The country does not need civil servants and concerned officials who cannot ensure the completion of development projects,” he said while calling for the induction of fresh blood in the civil services. The prime minister also vowed to facilitate Chinese companies willing to work on Pakistani hydel projects.

Calling alternate energy projects an integral part of his government’s policy, the prime minister said that he had held successful and threadbare discussions on the matter with the Chinese leadership. He added that prospects of introducing mass transit systems in Karachi and Lahore, and high-speed trains in the country also came under discussion during his meetings.

Premier Nawaz said one of the achievements of his meetings was convincing the Chinese leadership to waive off the levy of the 5%-7% insurance cover. He also noted with satisfaction that headway had been made with regard to the allocation of funds by Chinese banks and financial institutions to support the Chinese companies working in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, talking about the recent execution-style killings of Chinese mountaineers in Gilgit-Baltistan, the prime minister said that both sides had expressed their deep regret over this unfortunate incident. He stressed, however, that such stray incidents would not harm the two countries’ friendship.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2013.


Zubair | 9 years ago | Reply

I will focus only on the Kashgar – Gawadar motorway. At present the situation is not encouraging in this area as the Korakoram highway is disconnected since the landsliding in Ataabad and formation of lake over there. No serious effort has since been witnessed to restore the connection during past many years. Moreover, by constructing the Bhasha Dam, Karakoram highway needs to be redesigned and rebuilt which is also a gigantic task. Therefore the whole task seems to be longterm project if implemented not to be covered within one regime. In addition I am smelling issue of corruption as the officials on our side are more interested in making money rather to deliver, and construction of roads and bridges is one of easy way to make money in the name of commission by our executing officials throughout Pakistan.

Polpot | 9 years ago | Reply

Chinese Cell at PMs Office ++++++++++++++++++++++ At last we will be served authentic chinese cuisine...or am I misunderstanding something?

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