In an attempt to fast track work on completing the missing links of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the federal government has proposed one-third or Rs194 billion allocations for the corridor projects in the new budget.
The huge allocations are made to complete the missing links on trade route corridors besides initiating feasibility studies to link Khunjerab with other parts of the country through rail link. The maximum allocations are proposed for the road sector projects, according to the Ministry of Planning’s estimates.
About two and a half dozen projects valuing Rs842 billion are proposed to be included in the federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2015-16. For the first year, Rs194 billion have been allocated for carrying on work on these medium and large sized projects, which are 33% of the proposed budget of Rs580 billion.
In order to provide security for CPEC and Chinese citizens working in Pakistan, a project to raise 28 wings of Civil Armed Forces has also been included in the new PSDP. The government has proposed Rs3.5 billion allocation for the new fiscal year while the total cost of the project is Rs7.5 billion. The money allocated for raising nine battalions of Pakistan Army is over and above this cost.
The government has allocated Rs71.3 billion for the construction of a 387-kilometre long Multan-Sukkur section of the eastern route project. The total cost of this road project is Rs259.3 billion. For the 296-km long Sukkur-Hyderabad section of the eastern route of the CPEC, the government has decided to allocate Rs10.5 billion in the new fiscal year. The total cost of this project is Rs148 billion and it has yet to be approved by the competent authorities.
The government has also decided to construct a 230-km long Lahore-Abdul Hakeem section at a cost of Rs131 billion. For the new fiscal year, it has proposed Rs40 billion to carry out work on this project, which has not yet been approved.
Similarly, for the construction of the 120km Thakot to Havelian section, the government has proposed Rs28.5 billion allocation; the total cost of this project is Rs95.4 billion. For acquisition of land for this project, the government has allocated another Rs6 billion.
Similarly, for the construction of Islamabad-Dera Ismail Khan road, which will link the eastern route with the central route, the government has proposed Rs6.8 billion while the total cost of this project is Rs55 billion.
The government has additionally proposed Rs1.8 billion allocation for the construction on Burhan-Havelian road section, having total estimated cost of Rs39.5 billion.
For the construction of a new road to The Gwadar International Airport, the government has proposed Rs503 million and Rs30 million have been allocated for the new fiscal year.
In order to meet contingency requirements of the CPEC projects, the Ministry of Planning and Development has kept Rs8.3 billion as spared funds, which will be provided to meet the financing gaps.
To complete work on the Gwadar port, the government has proposed seven projects worth Rs41.6 billion. It has allocated Rs9.2 billion for the next year. These projects include construction of breakway waters, capital dredging of berthing areas, infrastructure development for Export Processing Zone Authority, Pak-China Technical and Vocational Centre and upgradation of existing 50-bed hospital to 300-bed hospital at Gwadar.
The government has also proposed Rs4.7 billion allocation for construction of Eastbay Express way that will link Gwadar with the coastal highway. The total cost of the project is Rs14.1 billion.
|Multan-Sukkur section of eastern route|
|Sukkur-Hyderabad section of the eastern route|
|Lahore-Abdul Hakeem section|
|Thakot to Havelian section|
|Islamabad-Dera Ismail Khan road|
|Burhan-Havelian road section|
|New road to the Gwadar International Airport|
|Seven projects on Gwadar port|
|Eastbay Express Way|
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2015.
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