Convener of the Special Committee on the project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “Briefing given by the ministry and its various allied departments is insufficient and lacks details on many aspects. The departments are shifting responsibility on one another and there seems no to be institutional collaboration”.
The Committee directed Secretary of the ministry to prioritize umbrella projects specified for Balochistan. Members of the Committee were of the view that no tangible progress has been achieved during last few years and despite recommendations, provision of gas and electricity supply in Bostan area of Balochistan and its development as Special Economic Zone (SEZ) seems a farce.
Speaking on the Gwadar power plant issue, she said, “Two projects from Balochistan have been discussed; SEZ and provision of energy to Gwadar. Federal government is misrepresenting the facts on projects on Balochistan, including the SEZs, as well as the power project for Gwadar which has been caught in NEPRA tariff forest since 2017 and has still not cranked up”.
“SEZ at Bostan has received no PSDP funding and hence no progress could be achieved. Planning Division’s unprofessional approach towards CPEC and its various umbrella projects with special reference to development of Special Economic Zones in Balochistan and other parts of the country is disappointing. We have decided that the Planning Minister will address the agenda on Balochistan himself,” Senator Rehman added.
Senator Usman Khan Kakar observed that there is nothing on the ground and it is unfortunate that 132 KV grid station at Bostan could not be constructed due to non-availability of required funds. He demanded early completion of the project with an aim to provide relief to the people.
“Questions were raised on the lapsed CPEC Authority and how it will proceed further. What coordination has been done since there is no clarity,” said Senator Rehman.
Earlier Secretary, Board of Investment (BOI) informed that BOI solicited the rational for the plot pricing in Rashakai SEZ from the relevant authority of Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa, however, the reply is awaited. The Committee was also informed about the status of progress report on provision of gas and electricity supply. The committee rejected the stance of the ministry and decided to postpone the meeting in protest as the information provided was insufficient.
Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying that, “We are still standing where we were one year ago. Parliament needs to be respected and taken seriously”.
The Committee meeting was attended by Senators Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Dr. Sikandar Mandhro, Dr. Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Dr. Asad Ashraf Nuzhat Sadiq, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Mir Kabeer Ahmad Muhammad Shahi, Sitara Ayaz and Muhammad Javed Abbasi besides Secretary, M/o Planning and senior officers of the relevant departments.