The Federal Cabinet, which met on Thursday, was informed that a considerable part of portfolio under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been energised while the remaining is in the pipeline.
The Prime Minister directed timely completion of all the projects under the CPEC and stated that a mechanism must be evolved for regular progress and speedy implementation.
He directed the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms to ensure completion of the first batch of projects in energy and infrastructure sectors, by 2017-18.
The Prime Minister further stated that speedy progress on these projects is necessary for addressing the existing shortfalls and future demands.
The completion of early harvest projects will go a long way in elimination of load shedding by summer of 2018.
The Prime Minister noted that a significant progress is being made on the western route of the CPEC project and stated that employment opportunities would be generated for the local populace which will generate economic activity and enhance national wealth.
Nawaz Sharif said that the CPEC will ensure equitable benefits amongst different areas of Pakistan, including the most underdeveloped areas.
It will not only connect 200 million people of Pakistan but would also open up avenues of cooperation amongst people, communities and states across the region.
The Prime Minister directed that a comprehensive policy be formulated for the victims of terrorism across the country.
The policy must envisage an integrated livelihood, education and employment package for the families of the deceased. The policy is to be placed before the next cabinet meeting for consideration.
He expressed his firm support for the Thar Coal project, and stated that had its potential been exploited 50 years back, the nation would now have been an energy exporter.
The meeting also reviewed progress made so far on the Gwadar port project and allied infrastructure facilities and concerned departments were directed for making progress on initiation of work on Gwadar Airport and the Eastbay Expressway at the earliest.
The work on the technical and vocational training institutes of Gwadar must be done on a fast track basis, making them operational as soon as possible.
The Prime Minister stressed upon the concerned ministries to expedite the process of land acquisition for the hydel power projects, and adopt a forward looking strategy for overall economic development including energy and infrastructure components, so as to cater to the needs of the future generations.
The Cabinet, while approving in principle the summary of the Housing and Works Division regarding the Joint Venture Policy for Land Development in collaboration with the private sector, with the objective of providing accommodation or plots to government servants before retirement, formed a Committee to fine tune the policy guidelines.
The policy envisages providing plots to 100,000 federal government employees. The Committee shall comprise the Minister for Housing and Works Akram Durrani, Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid, and may co-opt any other member. The Committee will present its report to the Cabinet.
The Federal Cabinet also considered and accorded approval to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Government of Turkmenistan on Defence Cooperation; ex-post facto approval to the signing of the “Loan Agreement for Energy Sectors Reforms Programme-II” between the Governments of Pakistan and Japan/JICA; approval to Negotiating Memorandum of Understanding between office of the Auditor General of Pakistan and the National Audit Department of Malaysia on Cooperation in Public Sector Auditing; approval to signing of a bilateral MoU between the Supreme Audit Institution of Pakistan and the State Audit Office of Vietnam on Cooperation in Public Sector Auditing; approval to initiation of negotiations between the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Central Bank of Russia on signing of an MoU on “Banking Supervisory Cooperation”; approval to signing of an agreement between Pakistan and Turkmenistan on Abolition of Visa for Holders of Diplomatic Passports; approval to signing a Negotiated Treaty on Extradition between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Republic of Kazakhstan – Interior Division; approval in principle to initiating negotiations on the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Government of the Republic of Kenya on Cooperation in Combating Illicit Trafficking and Abuse of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors. -Business Recorder