Islamabad: On Thursday, the Senate Standing Committee on Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives instructed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority to expedite the completion of under-implementation projects by recovering the confidence of Chinese enterprises.

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Senator Saleem H. Mandviwala, Chairman of the Committee, said, “According to my sources, the Chinese are unhappy with the current status of the CPEC projects, and they have sought me to help eliminate the bottlenecks.”

The chair asked Khalid Mansoor, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on CPEC Affairs, to take responsibility for the early completion of under-construction projects and to remove any bottlenecks in the approval of megaprojects under consideration, such as the upgrade of the ML-1 railway project and hydropower projects.

“Regaining Chinese confidence is my top priority,” Khalid Mansoor said, adding that he had personally met with representatives of 40 of the 135 Chinese businesses operating in Pakistan.

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“I will take responsibility for project implementation and will personally visit all relevant departments and divisions to implement the CPEC projects,” he said.

In response to Senator Danish Kumar’s accusations over CPEC ignoring Balochistan, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that in the first phase of the project, two-thirds of the projects were connected to power and had minimal impact on the local area.

He noted that there was a lot of development activity going on in the province, especially in Gwadar, such as desalination plants, technical training institutes, and the Eastbay Expressway, among other things.

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