ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal Monday said that nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would be established in all four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Azad Jammu and Kashmir and two at federal level.
Talking to media after attending the meeting of parliamentary committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said the committee was briefed about the proceedings of 6th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) held in Beijing.
The parliamentary committee met here with Mushahid Hussain Seyed in the chair to discuss progress on CPEC projects and proceedings of 6th JCC held in Beijing (China) during last month.
The minister said the meeting was also informed about the projects included in CPEC by the Chines government suggested by the provinces and approved by the prime minister. He said Peshawar Circular Railway project, Gilgit Chitral to Cakdarah road projects were also included in the CPEC on the recommendation of government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The federal minister said Noshki to Nokandi road project was also included in multi billion dollars deal as it was suggested by the Balochistan government.
Ahsan Iqbal said the provincial governments were also asked to allocated place for the establishment of special economic zones in their respective provinces.
The JCC also approved the installation of North South transmission line which would also provide electricity for Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan from the national grid, he added.
The parliamentary committee, he said was also apprised that the JCC also accorded approval for the development of water plant and 300 MW electricity plant at Gwadar.
The minister said work on the construction of Diamir Basha Dam would be started during current financial year and government would also allocate funds in its next year’s Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
The mega project would be able to store about 10-12 million acres feet water and to be completed in 10-12 years time which would enhance water storage capacity of the country.
Ahsan Iqbal said the country was able to enhance electricity generation capacity to 15,000 to 16,000 MW in last 66 years, adding that government was working on different power generation projects to produce about 18,000 MW electricity in three years.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez Ur Rahman said all the provinces were presented in 6th JCC which give a good message to the Chinese government.
The Chief Minister said that China was intended to include Diamir-Basha Dam project in CPEC as about 48,000 hectares of land was acquired by spending Rs 56 billion.
Hafeez Ur Rahman said the historic project of the country would cost about US$ 15-16 billion whereas about US$ 2 billion would be spent on the installation of transmission line.
The Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan said construction of the dam would reduce the silting of Tarbela dam and Mangla Dam and enhance their life span, besides increasing the water storage capacity.