Bizenjo concerned over delay in CPEC projects

Quetta –  Expressing concerns over execution and progress of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects at a snail’s pace, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qadus Bizenjo on Tuesday said that realisation of plans under this game-changer corridor would be expedited.

“Gwadar is the nucleus of CPEC, but unfortunately, priority has been given and development projects are being executed in other units of the country,” claimed Qadus Bizenjo , adding rights of the indigenous people would be guaranteed in this mega project.

Speaking at a press conference at CM’s Secretariat, the chief minister added that whatever lethargy committed so far in implementation of these projects of CPEC wouldn’t be tolerated in future.

Prior to media conference, Qadus Bizenjo presided over a high level meeting to mull the progress on CPEC-related Balochistan projects and prospects of legislation for Gwadar development in length.

The partakers reviewed in detail the work on 18 CPEC-linked mega projects in Balochistan.

The chief minister revealed that he was unhappy during the CPEC-related briefing where he noticed that some projects were progressing at a snail’s pace, while other schemes were yet to be started.

“There is no desk and secretariat regarding CPEC. We are establishing a proper desk and secretariat in this context,” said Bizenjo , adding government would try to make the Board of Investment functional which was inactive.

Bizenjo went on to say that the provincial regime would make every possible effort for early execution of CPEC-related projects and in this regard the provincial government would also work closely with center and all stakeholders.

He added that all the reservations of Baloch people would be kept in view so that this mega project could lead to completion in larger interest of the country and province.

Bizenjo noted that government would take up at provincial level all those projects with the centre which are either progressing at a slow pace or yet to be started.

The chief minister also convened a cabinet meeting on Wednesday (today) to review host of issues in this regard and media would be apprised of the discussion.

“We will frame such legislation apropos to Gwadar which will be acceptable to all stakeholders,” Mir Bizenjo was reported as saying, adding they wouldn’t make such legislation that would create troubles for investors and others.

He added they would also observe the Gwadar Master Plan and check that whether rights of local people were not being usurped.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Balochistan Director General Irfan Naeem Mangi said Tuesday that the bureau had been mandated under National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 to ensure recovery of looted money from corrupt.

Speaking at a ceremony of handing over Rs15.32million to Chief Secretary Aurangzeb Haque which the NAB provincial bureau had recovered as embezzled money from various provincial departments in the last few months, Mangi said the corrupt elements had nothing to do with politics, government and government employment as like terrorists had no religion.

Irfan Mangi added that corrupt elements were not God fearing people so they did not waste any moment in looting the national exchequer.

He added that all essential laws were present in the country but their implementation in letter and spirit and bring the corrupt elements into justice was the real problem.

He appealed to the chief secretary not to appoint those individuals on key positions who were facing cases in NAB.

The chief secretary distributed certificates among NAB officers showing excellent performance.

Mega oil city to be constructed in Gwadar under CPEC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to construct a mega oil city at Gwadar on 80,000 acres under much hyped China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

This mega oil city will be used for transportation of imported oil through the Gwadar Port to China. The oil will be imported from Gulf and will be stored at this proposed mega Gwadar oil city.

The distance to China will be reduced, and it will take just seven days to cover the distance from Gwadar to Chinese border as import through western China took almost 40 days by covering double distance.

“We have forwarded PC-1 to the Ministry of Petroleum for acquiring 80,000 acres for this mega oil city at Gwadar with estimated cost of Rs10 billion. There will be additional cost for construction of its storage and other aligned facilities with the help of investments,” Director General, Gwadar Development Authority (GDA), Dr Sajjad H Baloch, told Islamabad based journalists who visited the Gwadar Port last week. This visit was arranged by the Planning Commission in order to show case different ongoing projects under CPEC.

A refinery, petrochemical industries and storage will be established in the oil city, he added.

The Gwadar oil city, he said, would be used for storing oil for its onward transportation to China. Usually, it takes 40 days for vessels to transport oil to China but via Pakistan it will reach China within 7 days, he added. He said that the total area of Gwadar Model City is 290,000 acres which includes 160,000 acres of residential area while the remaining is for industrial purposes. A Chinese company is working on the Model City Plan and it will be ready by August 14, 2018.

To another query regarding different measures for overcoming water shortages at Gwadar, he said that the current water requirement stood at six million gallons per day and there is no direct water supply taking place to the area. Two MGD water is being supplied from two water small dams through tankers and nearest distance is almost 70 kilometres.

“We have a deficit of four million gallons per day in water supply to the area,” he said and added that by 2020, the water requirement of Gwadar would be 12 million gallons per day, for which additional arrangements were made to get 10 million gallons of water.

New Gwadar International Airport: Earlier, the journalists visited the site of proposed new airport at Gwadar. The China Airport Construction Group Engineering Company representative Jianxin Liao told the visiting journalists that they were conducting soil investigation on the basis of which, the design of new airport at Gwadar will be finalised. He said that the procured land for this new airport stood at 4,300 acres, and this airport will possess capacity to handle one million passengers on annual basis. He said that by April this year the design will be completed after which the cost of the project will be estimated. It will be the biggest airport of Pakistan.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) representative Zohaib Soomro said that the initial cost of the project was estimated at $228 million, but its cost would be finalised after completion of design, and it would be estimated again.

The sources said that it would be premature to give any assessment related to cost, but it would be more than $2 billion to $2.7 billion at least if we want to construct state of the art airport in accordance with international standards

CPEC’s results already coming in, says PM Abbasi at Davos

DAVOS: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi stated on Wednesday that the results of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have already started to come in.

Speaking at a session titled ‘The Belt and Road Impact’ at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Abbasi said CPEC is about developing infrastructure, power plants, airports, seaports, highways and special economic zones for export growth.

Sharing the results of the over $56 billion CPEC, Abbasi said the cement industry has grown by 56 per cent while exports are up by 15 per cent, adding that the project has resulted in the creation of “great investor confidence”.

The prime minister also said that despite establishing coal plants under CPEC, the net effect on the environment will be positive through replacement of older, less efficient oil-based power plants.

“CPEC is much more than just creating infrastructure on ground,” he added.

Talking about foreign investors in CPEC, the premier said there is a need to ensure that the projects are inclusive and open to all investors with the same level playing field that’s available to local players.

“Pakistan can provide connectivity to most of land-locked Central Asia,” he stated.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a global infrastructure project of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The session is being attended by Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun, Caixin Global Managing Director Li Xin, Russian Direct Investment Fund CEO Kirill Dmitriev, AECOM CEO and Chairman Michael Burke, Singapore Minister Chan Chun Sing and China National Machinery Industry Corp Chairman Ren Hongbin.

During the session, AIIB president Li said they support lots of projects in Pakistan.

The other speakers also delved on the role of infrastructure projects vis-à-vis protecting the environment and also the need for political certainty for sustainable development.

Earlier, upon arrival at the Zurich airport, the premier was received by Pakistan’s Ambassador in Switzerland Ahmad Naseem Warraich and senior government officials.

Abbasi will also participate in a number of important events and hold bilateral meetings with key world leaders, as well as chairpersons and CEOs of fifteen leading multinational organisations from the US, Europe, China, and Japan, according to the APP.

He will interact with heads of states and governments in a special session of the Informal Group of World Economic Leaders (IGWEL)