Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Construction of ML-1 from Peshawar to Karachi

Construction of ML-1 from Peshawar to Karachi: Pakistan, China yet to finalise financing model

ISLAMABAD: Despite making claims for entering into second phase of cooperation under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), both sides could not evolve agreement on financing model for construction of Mainline-1 (ML-1) from Peshawar to Karachi.

Although, Pakistani authorities are claiming that Prime Minister Imran Khan would take up different projects during his upcoming visit to China including on ML-1 but the financing arrangement was not yet finalised between the two sides. “Pakistani side is asking for lower cost from the concerned public sector company of China as the government has decided to implement this project in phased manner,” said the sources.

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Construction of ML-1 from Peshawar to Karachi

Pakistan wants early implementation on kick-starting special economic zone especially at Rashakai as early as possible but there are unresolved issues that need to be fixed for moving towards the desired objectives. Islamabad wants its inauguration within this ongoing month.

On the other hand, China’s ambassador along with investor delegation held meeting with FBR team on Tuesday and explored the possibilities of incentives on investment.

Earlier, Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad Yao Jing called on Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar. The ambassador appreciated government of Pakistan’s efforts to fast track the CPEC projects particularly the groundbreaking of western route. Minister for Planning hailed China’s support for implementation of Gwadar Airport project.

Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, Member Private Sector Asim Saeed, Project Director CPEC Hasan Daud and senior officials were also present on the occasion.

Makhdoom Khusro said that the present government attaches top priority to the development of Gwadar, highlighting that Prime Minister Imran Khan in his recent visit to Balochistan performed groundbreaking of the Rs65 billion Zhob-Kuchlak section of western route, Rs17 billion project of transmission line for Makran coast, Rs23 billion new Gwadar Airport project, hospital as well as vocational institute. The implementation of 300MW energy project in Gwadar will be aligned with the development of Gwadar.

Minister said that CPEC has gained momentum and efforts would be made to continue the same pace in future. He stated that first special economic zone at Rashakai will be launched soon in order to enter into the implementation stage of Pak-China Industrial Cooperation. He further said that cooperation will be further strengthened by formal framework agreement focusing on joint ventures, and B2B cooperation.

The minister emphasised the need for robust cooperation between the business communities of the two countries. ‘We should move towards Pak-China Business Forum with representatives from leading companies of the two countries in various areas’, said the minister.

During the meeting, deliverables for the proposed visit of the prime minister to China to participate in the second Belt & Road Forum this month came under discussion regarding areas of industry cooperation, agriculture, socio-economic development and infrastructure.

The minister called for cooperation in agriculture, fisheries and livestock sectors between the two countries to benefit from the enormous potential this area offers.

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