The Senate Standing Committee on Planning was informed on Friday that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority will be abolished and all matters of the project will be handed over to the Planning Commission.
A meeting of the standing committee was held under the chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandviwala at Parliament Lodges, wherein the CPEC Authority Amendment Bill, 2021, was discussed.
The ministry officials informed the meeting that according to the vision of Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, the mega project would be handed over to the Planning Commission. They added that the authority had not done any significant work, therefore, its disbanding is being considered, and a final decision will be taken soon.
The committee chief then adjourned the matter till a final decision is taken.
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Talking about the non-implementation of the proposals sent by the senators to the ministry on Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects, the chair expressed his serious concerns.
He said that he was only informed by the concerned ministry that all budget proposals sent by the committee have been rejected and no explanation was given for this rejection.
"We were told in the house last year that if the PSDP budget proposals were received by the ministry before March, they would be considered," he added.
But despite the submission of PSDP proposals before March, they were not considered, he noted.
The ministry officials said that the senators' budget proposals had been sent to the provinces and concerned departments, prompting the committee chairman to ask why the committee had not been kept informed. “If we had been informed, we would have talked to the provincial departments about these projects ourselves," they added.
The ministry officials told the committee that the ministry's development funds have already been slashed for the current financial year, and the budget has been reduced from Rs900 billion to Rs500 billion.
The chair sought full details of the correspondence with the provinces and other departments regarding the senators' budget proposals.
Officials assured the committee of provision of all the details as soon as possible.
During the meeting, the standing committee also approved the special report on Gwadar Port after detailed consideration.
The planning secretary said during the meeting that Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) are given priority in development funds, but highlighted problems with it.
Senator Abdul Qadir asked why a development budget of Rs1,000 billion is allocated when there is no money.