The establishment of the CPEC Authority has been unanimously rejected by the Parliamentary Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), creating hindrances in the government’s plan to bring the all the CPEC related work under one umbrella.
The parliamentary panel on CPEC met under the chairmanship of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf MNA Sher Ali Arbab at the Parliament House on Thursday. During the meeting, members expressed reservations over the CPEC Authority having a chairman with the powers of principle accounting officer. They argued that it would result in a direct conflict with the secretary planning.
It was argued that the strength of the CPEC Authority, with five to six members, would be just like the Planning Commission, hence there was no need for duplication of institutions and ministries. It was also argued by the Planning Commission that the CPEC Authority would identify projects in order to bring them under the purview of CPEC. However, it was pointed out that it was the domain of the concerned ministry to identify projects and then bring them up at a joint working group with the Chinese side.
A committee member, while talking to media said, “The Planning Commission high-ups could not convince the parliamentarians why this CPEC Authority is necessary to run the CPEC related projects.”
The member informed media that the Planning Commission argued that CPEC would now aim for business-to-business contacts with the Chinese side, so the commission was asked to strengthen the ministries concerned.
Following the arguments, the issue was put up for a vote by the parliamentary panel chairman before the committee members. In the vote, the establishment of the CPEC Authority was unanimously rejected.