ISLAMABAD -UNS: The Parliamentary Committee on CPEC, which met here today, at the Parliament House under the Chairmanship of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, was briefed on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to be established under the CPEC. The Chairman of the Privatization Commission, Miftah Ismail briefed the Committee on criterion for establishing SEZs as well as the establishment of such SEZs under the CPEC. He said that 9 sites for SEZs have been declared priority sites under the CPEC and each province plus Federal area, Gilgit-Baltistan have been allocated SEZs. These sites have been identified by the provincial governments and there is close coordination between the federal and the provincial governments. A high level Chinese delegation will visit Pakistan in the first week of June to see these sites and discuss their feasibilities. The final decision will be made in consultation between the Chinese and Pakistani sides. The sites include Rashakai in Noshera, Hattar, Sheikhupura, Faisalable, Bostan near Quetta, Khuzdar, Thebaji and Keti Bandar plus Gilgit and a federal industrial zone in Islamabad as well as one near Port Qasim.
The Parliamentary Committee on CPEC said that it should be ensured that the less-developed areas of Pakistan be given priority in development so they are brought at par with the more developed areas of Pakistan. The purpose of the SEZs which are being open to all investors both Pakistani and foreign, is also to attract the companies from China which will be relocated abroad in the coming years.
The Parliamentary Committee on CPEC also directed the Ministry of Water & Power to carry out wind corridor survey in KPK and Balochistan which is being done and necessary monitoring stations have been established in both provinces.
The Ministry of Water & Power briefed the Committee that 700 MG of electricity of wind power have been connected to the national grid while another 300 MG of solar energy is now connected to the national grid which is for the first time as renewable energy has also become a factor in the energy mix in Pakistan.
Earlier the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed briefed the committee about his participation in the highly-successful Belt & Road Forum in Beijing which was held on May 14-15, 2017. The Committee welcomed the pro-active participation of Pakistan’s delegation in the Belt & Road Forum led by the Prime Minister which included the Chief Ministers of the 4 provinces. He added that CPEC is the flagship project of the Belt & Road Initiative. The Chairman also welcomed the new member of the Committee Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi.
The Parliamentary Committee on CPEC decided that the next meeting would be devoted to a briefing by the Minister for Planning & Development on the long term plan of CPEC.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Akram Khan Durrani, Federal Minister for Housing and Works, Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, MNA, Mr. Asad Umar, MNA, Senator Lt. Gen. (Retd) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Senator Shibli Faraz, Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi and Senior Officers of the Ministry of Planning, Development & Reforms, Ministry of Water & Power, Board of Investment of the Pakistan and Secretary of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC also attend the meeting.