ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved the decision to abolish the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority. The final decision, nevertheless, will be taken with the consent of Chinese government.
The Planning and Development Ministry recommended the abolition of the CPEC Authority. The purpose of dissolving the CPEC Authority is to pace up implementation of the multi-billion-dollar projects of the CPEC in Pakistan.
Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal said, “This is in the interest of CPEC that the authority should be dissolved to ensure fast implementation of its projects.”
He, however, said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wanted the government to take China into confidence before doing away with the CPEC Authority.
The minister further said the CPEC Authority Act would be repealed once the Chinese give their consent.
The decision to wind up the CPEC Authority is in line with the PML-N’s old policy that was never in favour of establishing a parallel set-up.
The PTI government took over two years to set up the authority, but practically it remained dormant as the last political dispensation too was not in favour of having the authority.
He said now the planning and development ministry would play a facilitator role. The execution of the CPEC projects would be in the hands of the line ministries, he added.
The minister noted that the government would restore the old institutional arrangement that helped the swift implementation of CPEC projects between 2014 to 2018. He also said the CPEC Secretariat would be revived in the planning and development ministry.
Last month, the government had decided that the CPEC Support Project would be strengthened. The Centre of Excellence for CPEC would be transferred back to the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE).
The previous PTI government had reluctantly enacted the CPEC Authority but it never filled the chairman’s post after Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa’s resignation.