ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has expressed concern over the slow progress on projects related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and decided to hold meeting fortnightly.
The Minister headed a high level meeting to review the progress of the CPEC projects here in Islamabad.
Qamar Sarwar Abbasi, Executive Director, CPEC, briefed the Minister on the progress made so far in the implementation of these projects.
The Minister directed the concerned official to hold a meeting in fortnight to review the progress.
The Federal Minister said that no progress has been made on the industrial zones of Port Qasim, Islamabad and Mirpur which is regrettable. He said that if you do not give value to your investors then why they will come to Pakistan for investment.
Ahsan Iqbal said that in 2017, there was so much excitement about SEZs that all the major foreign investors lined up to be a part of it. However, delays in projects have driven Chinese investors away. The Federal Minister further had said that further delay in these projects would not be acceptable while the officials were directed to expedite the work.
The Federal Minister also directed the concerned official to hold a separate meeting on SEZs so that it could be smoothed out. The Minister also directed all the Joint Working Group of CPEC, JWG, to take forward specific projects in their respective fields and start work on them immediately. According to the initial plan, according to the CPEC plan, SEZs were to be ready by 2020, but unfortunately, in the last four years, no progress has been made on SEZs.
The Federal Minister further directed the Home Division to ensure foolproof security of Chinese workers.
The Federal Minister directed the authorities to complete Zhob Quetta Road which was started under CPEC project. “Infrastructure development in an underdeveloped area will help to raise the living standards of local people and create socio-economic activities,” he added.
Minister Iqbal has directed all relevant ministries and departments to draw immediate attention to SEZs in this regard all potential foreign direct investors should also be engaged for listening their views and needs.
The federal minister also said that the government wants to train more than 100 thousands young students in the artificial intelligence IA, Oracle, Big Data and other fields.
During the meeting, he also directed the Higher Education Commission to engage with the industry on a large scale to ensure that Pakistani graduates are pursuing education that is relevant to the needs of the industry