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Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) meets
Thursday, 7th January, 2021

       30th meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was held today at 11:00 a.m. in Constitution Room, Parliament House, Islamabad under the Chairmanship of Mr. Sher Ali Arbab, MNA.

2.    The Committee was briefed by Additional Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources and Member (Water) WAPDA regarding agenda items of the Committee on previous and current Axle Load Policy in Pakistan for road infrastructure projects under CPEC framework and international best practices, comprehensive briefing on Chashma Right Bank Canal and issues pertaining to the issuance of work visas.

3.    Hon. Chairman while receiving briefing from the concerned on previous and current Axle Load Policy in Pakistan for road infrastructure projects under CPEC framework remarked that facilitating trade, and enhancing investments in Pakistan are long-term envisaged goals of CPEC; therefore, success of CPEC hinges upon effective and timely operationalization of Gwadar and Special Economic Zones. The Committee expressed concerns over the impediments in implementation of Axle Load Policy which cause exponential damage to road infrastructure and huge cost implications. The Committee further added that Ministry of Communications may resolve such impediments by calling consultative meeting with all transport departments of provinces and regions, industrialists and other stakeholders to seek their input and implement Axle Load Policy in true spirit so as to protect road infrastructure and facilitate smooth regulation of trade.

4.    The Committee further observed that Chashma Right Bank Canal can be a viable and inventive project for agricultural production. It was agreed that after the completion of feasibility study on Chashma Right Bank Canal, the Committee would thoroughly examine the project and if need be the negotiations with Chinese government would be initiated to place the project under CPEC framework.

5.    Hon. Chairman remarked that the efforts taken by Ministry of Interior to avoid delays and expedite the issuance of work visas by introducing online facility would greatly benefit Pakistan to ensure smooth movement of people, commodities and marked increase in trade and investment. It is worth noting that people of Afghanistan are highly desirous of investing in Pakistan. By introducing such facilities, Pakistan would be able to attract more investment form Afghan side which due to absence of facilities in Pakistan is diverted to other neighbouring countries.  Avoiding procrastination in issuance of work, medical and education visas to foreigners would not only facilitate Pakistan’s trade with other countries but also bolster Pakistan’s bilateral relations with neighbouring countries.

6.    The Committee deferred the briefing on Gwadar Fencing Project to provide sufficient time to the concerned for preparing an inclusive briefing in the next meeting.  

7.    The meeting was attended by Mr. Noor Alam Khan, MNA, Mr. Sadaqat Ali Khan Abbasi, MNA, Mr. Umer Aslam Khan, MNA, Mr. Ghous Bux Khan Mahar, MNA, Ms. Mehnaz Akber Aziz, MNA, Mr. Raza Rabani Khar, MNA and Senator Mir Kabir Ahmed Muhammad Shahi.