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Event Title: CPEC Projects must be Prioritized, says Sherry Rehman

Event Date: 2020-07-20

While 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. There should be more clarity on this as this news was not refuted. If this is indeed true then why are the powers of the planning minister being limited? Is it because of lack of performance? What is the role of the Prime Minister in this? Will CPEC Authority not be under the supervision of any Ministry?” she questioned

The Senator said, “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.” she added.

This was then clarified by Chairman General Bajwa and Secretary Planning in the Senate CPEC committee meeting, that there is no move to change the lead ministry’s role in CPEC Authority, which is Planning.

While discussing the need for developing stronger  partnerships among provinces, snd noting a slowness in projects in Balochistan she said, “The province of Balochistan is close to our hearts and all the projects under the umbrella of CPEC are important for development”.

Rehman highlighted the importance of Gawadar in CPEC, and said, “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, “she added.

The committee was briefed that 19 projects were completed, 28 were under implementation and 41 were in the pipeline. The CPEC Chairman assured the committee that all projects will be completed on time within the stipulated and given timelines as they were finalised at the time of signing agreements.

Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, 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”.