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ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) expressed its serious concern and dissatisfaction over what it said dilly-dallying in the process of completion of socio-economic projects under the Chinese grant of $1 billion.

An in-camera meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC met with MNA Sher Ali Arbab in the chair at the Parliament House, on Wednesday.

The Committee urged the provinces to effectively and timely utilise the $1 billion Chinese grant by undertaking those socio-economic projects, which could bring value addition and sustainable impacts for improving the lives of the common people.

The Committee was briefed by the additional secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, the secretary, Board of Investment, the secretary, Ministry of Communications, member (IR) FBR, senior joint secretary Ministry of Commerce, regarding waiver of taxes on industries as per model extended to the construction sector and updated progress on Axle Load Policy.

The Committee recommended to the Federal Board of Revenue a joint meeting that is convened along with the Board of Investment, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Ministry of Industries and Production to come up with comprehensive proposals, so that the industrial sector could be incentivised well in time.

The Committee, while highlighting the importance of the second phase of the CPEC, observed that utmost efforts were exerted to expeditiously complete the first phase of the CPEC.

Now Pakistan has entered into the most promising second phase of the CPEC.

The focus of the CPEC’s second phase is to effectively operationalise Gwadar and Special Economic Zones and set up important industries there.

Therefore, the purpose of waiver of taxes on industries as per model extended to the construction sector is to incentivise industries, enhance local and foreign direct investment, generate revenue, create massive employment opportunities for local people, and ultimately lead Pakistan towards the path of sustainable economic development.

The Secretary Ministry of Communications said that they have requested the Prime Minister’s Office to reconstitute the Committee for further deliberations.

The Committee observed that the lack of implementation of axle load policy was causing a huge damage to the road infrastructure and burden on national exchequer in the form of road repair.

The Committee decided to take up the issue at the highest forum, so as to ensure the implementation of the law in letter and spirit.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Noor Alam Khan, Sadaqat Ali Khan Abbasi, Umer Aslam Khan, Nafeesa Inayatullah Khattak, Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhry, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Mehnaz Akber Aziz, Zahid Akram Durrani, and Muhammad Aslam Bhootani.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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