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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal expressed serious concern over the sluggish progress on projects related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The minister showed displeasure while chairing a high-level meeting to review the progress on projects related to CPEC on Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by the secretary PD&SI, the secretaries of various ministries and other relevant officials. Executive Director CPEC Qammar Sarwar Abbasi gave a briefing to the minister over the so far progress in executing the projects which is a game changer for the region.

“How pathetic the delay on CPEC projects which is the potential game changer for the region,” said the minister while directing the official concerned to hold a meeting to review the progress in a fortnight. There is zero progress on Industrial Zones of Port Qasim, Islamabad, and Mirpur which is unfortunate. “When you don’t value your investors, why they would come for investment,” lamented the minister.

In 2017, the excitement around Special Economic Zones (SEZs) was so high that all major foreign direct investors were lining up to be a part of it. However, due to delay in projects Chinese investors moved away, said the minister.

The minister also noted that further delay in projects will not be acceptable. He directed the officials to ensure expediting the work.

“How would you attract our investors when we fail to complete such important projects in time,” the minister said while directing the concerned official to hold a separate meeting over the SEZs, so it could be streamlined.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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