MPs committee rejects setting up CPEC Authority

ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has unanimously rejected the establishment of the CPEC Authority, shaking the government’s plan to put all CPEC-related work under one umbrella.

The Parliamentary Panel on CPEC met under the chairmanship of PTI MNA Sher Ali Arbab here at the House of Parliament on Thursday. Members expressed concern that the CPEC Authority that has a president with the power of Chief Accounting Officer has a direct conflict with the Secretary of Planning.

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The CPEC Authority with five to six members would have strength just like the Planning Commission, so there is no need for duplication of institutions and ministries. The Planning Commission also told him that the CPEC Authority would identify projects to put them under the CPEC umbrella, but it was noted that it was the domain of the ministry involved to identify and then take it to a joint working group with the Chinese side.

“The senior officials of the Planning Commission were unable to convince parliamentarians why this CPEC Authority is necessary to execute the CPEC-related projects,” said a committee member Thursday night. He said that the Planning Commission argued that CPEC would now move towards contacts between companies with the Chinese side, so they were asked to strengthen the ministries involved.

After a long debate, the president of the parliamentary panel presented the issue to a vote before the committee members and unanimously rejected the establishment of the CPEC Authority.

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