Minister announces completion of 36 CPEC projects worth $24 billion

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Muhammad Sami Saeed on Monday said that under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), 36 projects with a cumulative value of 24 billion dollars have been successfully completed.

Meanwhile, 22 projects with a total investment of five billion dollars are currently under construction, he said while concluding a debate on motion under rule 218 in Senate, focusing on the underdevelopment of Balochistan despite the claims of successive governments to promote the region’s growth through CPEC and other Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects.

Providing further insights in CPEC at the national level, Sami Saeed informed the House that negotiations are underway for 26 projects, totalling 27 billion dollars under the CPEC framework. Furthermore, 27 other projects dedicated to the social and economic development of Balochistan are actively under implementation.

The Minister Planning highlighted the significant allocation for Balochistan in the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), emphasizing that the province has received a higher share compared to other regions in recent years. For the current year, the PSDP stands at Rs. 950 billion, out of which 400 billion is allocated to national projects. Specifically, 15 percent of the program is dedicated to Balochistan, with an additional 14 percent for province-specific projects. This totals to one-third of the PSDP, amounting to 285 billion rupees, earmarked for projects related to connectivity, roads, and water, including the implementation of various dam projects.

The development of Gwadar city and Gwadar port remains a central focus of CPEC, as the minister outlined the completion of 36 projects worth 24 billion dollars and the ongoing construction of 22 projects with a budget of five billion dollars. Additionally, 26 projects, valued at 27 billion dollars, are under negotiation within the CPEC framework, while 27 other projects aimed at Balochistan’s social and economic development are actively underway.

Providing specific updates on Gwadar, Sami Saeed stated that significant milestones, such as the completion of the master plan for Gwadar city, the East Expressway, and an international airport (anticipated completion in June), showcase the progress. The first phase of the Gwadar Free Zone covering 60 acres has been completed, with Phase-2 in progress.

Various completed projects, such as the Pakistan China Vocational and Technical Institute and the 1.2 MGD desalination plant, were highlighted by Minister Sami Saeed. He noted the Pak-China Friendship Hospital with 300 beds and modern facilities, along with the completion of the port-dredging project under the federal PSDP.

Focusing on social and economic development in Balochistan, the Minister Planning mentioned initiatives such as the China-Pakistan Joint Horticulture Laboratory in Quetta, the distribution of ten thousand solar lighting units, and the establishment of a 20-bed burn center and medical emergency center in Quetta.

Phase-1 of the Bostan Economic Zone has been completed, with Phase-2 currently under consideration by the Balochistan government, pending court proceedings. Sami Saeed concluded by affirming the government’s commitment to Balochistan’s development, recognizing and addressing the challenges faced by the province.

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