The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would open the 4,000-acre Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on January 3, 2020.
Chairman Parliamentary Committee on CPEC Sher Ali Arbab informed this correspondent after the in-camera committee meeting on Monday.
He said the two countries had agreed to develop nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country and had decided to complete three SEZs on priority basis including Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad, and two others located in Rashakai in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Dhabeji in Sindh.
He said Rashakai Economic Zone, M-1, Nowshera, and China Special Economic Zone Dhabeji were also expected to open in April 2020. He said that Board of Investment (BoI) was also going to amend Special Economic Zone Act 2012 to facilitate industrial zones under the CPEC. He said that above three economic zones were at the priority of the government. He said those three industrial zones projects were government to government agreements of Pakistan and China.
He said three SEZs in the country were being developed on priority basis to facilitate Chinese investment under the multibillion dollars CPEC initiative. Separately, it has also been reported that the Punjab government has invited bids for the development of 4,000-acre Allama Iqbal Industrial City.
Sher Ali Arbab said the committee would also go to Gwadar and visit development projects there and would also arrange open courts to address problems in the projects as well as public problems of Gwadar residents.
About the Orange Line Train project under the CPEC in Lahore, he said the total cost was $ 1.65 billion of the Punjab government and it was completed in $1.4 billion. He said the committee also discussed the expenses when the train would be functional. He said that approximately Rs 8 billion per year would be the expenses when the project was made functional. He said the committee also discussed the Opex and Capex models of the Orange Line Train project. He said that approximately Rs 4 billion would be total earning of the project and the government may be giving Rs 4 billion subsidy per year to run the train.
He said the committee also discussed socio-economic development projects under $1 billion grant of China. He said that money would be spent on such projects which would be implemented for the welfare of the people. He said that research project would also be launched for promoting agriculture sector. He said that a team of Chinese experts would visit Pakistan in near future for this purpose and such projects would be discussed in next Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting of both countries.