ISLAMABAD: There has been no progress on the development of agriculture sector under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), it is learnt. CPEC project director Dr Liaqat Ali Shah told Business Recorder that an action plan is being prepared for agriculture sector. He said that areas for agriculture sector would be defined in action plan under CEPC.
Answering a question, Dr Liaqat said the Ministry for Planning, Development and Special Incentives did not receive any working paper or PC-I on projects relating to agriculture sector. He said the relevant Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture and provincial ministries would prepare a working paper and PC-I of projects to be submitted to Ministry of Planning.
An in-camera meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC was held on Thursday and agriculture sector was its first agenda item but it could not be taken up due to unavailability of CPEC Authority chairman Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa (retd).
When contacted, chairman Parliamentary Committee on CPEC told Business Recorder that agriculture was part of the agenda of the meeting but it was deferred due to previous engagement of Asim Saleem Bajwa with the Punjab CM.
According to sources, a joint-working group on agriculture sector was established almost two years ago but only two meetings of the group took place during this period - the second held in April 2020. They said that a joint-working group was established for development of seed, drip-irrigation, fruits and vegetables as well as meat industry. CPEC project director Dr Liaqat Ali Shah said that a Joint-Working Group on agriculture sector was formed informally in November 2019. However, he said that its notification was issued in April 2020.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020