Chairing the meeting of the Special Committee on CPEC, Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate Senator Sherry Rehman asked if the news about CPEC losing its lead ministry to the authority is true.
It has come to our attention that some important changes are under consideration on how the CPEC Authority will be run. We hear that the planning minister will be removed from lead roles to be replaced by the CPEC chairman, and various new powers will be given to the CPEC authority. The purpose of the Authority was to coordinate better between 16 ministries that are involved in the inter-ministerial coordination. The lapses in the project occur due to mismanagement and lack of strategic planning. Either way, it is important to establish strong ministerial capacity and leadership in moving projects forward with inclusion and transparency.
It was then clarified by Chairman General Bajwa and Secretary Planning in the Senate CPEC committee meeting that there is no move to change the Planning Ministry’s role in CPEC Authority.
While discussing the need for developing stronger partnerships among provinces, and noting a slowness in projects in Balochistan senator Rehman said, “The province of Balochistan is close to our hearts and all the projects under the umbrella of CPEC are important for development.”
She highlighted the importance of Gwadar in CPEC saying:
The city of Gawadar and the Province of Balochistan would not only thrive but the trade and economic activities would leave a positive impact on the overall development of the country. The operationalization of Gwadar port and completion of development projects in the city would be a big achievement for the area. CPEC is an important platform for Pakistan and all parties stand united on it. It is vital that the provinces are taken into confidence as their partnership is of immense importance.
The committee was briefed that 19 projects are completed, 28 are under implementation and 41 are in the pipeline. The CPEC Chairman assured the committee that all projects will be completed on time within the given timelines as they were finalized at the time of signing agreements.
Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by emphasizing the need for expediting work on the various projects related to power generation, agriculture, science and technology, and communication infrastructure. She said,
We want CPEC to progress, and the development initiatives under this project need to be made inclusive by taking all on board as it is a game-changer for the whole region.