Prime Minister chairs meeting on Pak-China Economic Corridor and Early-Harvest Development Projects

Islamabad, April 03, 2014 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif chaired a high level meeting regarding Pakistan-China Economic Corridor and early-harvest development projects here in PM House this evening. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, Federal Minister for Planning Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Special Assistant to PM Mr. Tariq Fatemi and senior government officers.

During the meeting, Federal Minister for Planning apprised the PM that two working groups have been established for early-harvest projects in the Transport Infrastructure and Energy sectors. Prime Minister directed that better coordination among line departments should be ensured to fast track development projects. Moreover, PM directed to sign a framework agreement with the Chinese government for funding of projects.

Various options for funding of Karachi to Lahore Motorway project were discussed. Prime Minister was told that Multan-Sukkur section of the Karachi-Lahore Motorway was being built by Chinese while remaining sections would be constructed on Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis. Prime Minister directed that international firms should be invited to participate in the biding of these sections and the process should be completely transparent.

It was informed that rehabilitation plan for Lahore-Islamabad Motorway has been finalised with a cost of Rs. 36 billion and will be completed in 18 months time from date of start of work. Prime Minister directed that flow of traffic should not be affected during rehabilitation work.

Prime Minister observed that land acquisition costs for Karachi-Lahore Motorway were on the higher side and directed to rationalise these costs. He further directed that a comprehensive master plan for Port Qasim be prepared so that it is fully equipped and caters to needs for coal import required for coal-based energy projects.

During briefing on energy sector projects, PM was told that master plan for Pakistan Power Park at Gaddani has been completed and feasibility for jetty and allied infrastructure will be completed by June, 2014.

It was informed that early-harvest projects including 1320 MW Coal-Based Power Projects (IPP) at Port Qasim, 660 MW Coal-Based Power Projects (IPP) at Gaddani by Power China, 1100 MW Kohala Hydro Power Project, 873 MW Suki Kanari Hydro Power Project, 720 MW Karot Hydro Power Project, 3.5 MT/A Coal Mining Project Thar Block-II SECMC, Solar Power Park at Bahawalpur, Karachi – Lahore Motorway, Construction of East-Bay Expressway at Gwadar and Hospital at Gwadar (300 beds) and are ready for ground-breaking this year.

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