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CPEC Authority To Get Sweeping Powers Including Authority To Overrule Govt Decisions

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A bill proposed by the federal government gives sweeping administrative and financial powers to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority for the ‘effective execution of megaprojects’ under the programme.

According to reports, CPEC Authority Bill 2020 has decided to appoint CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa as the co-chairman of the Joint Cooperation Committee of the CPEC. Currently, the JCC is headed by the planning minister along with his Chinese counterpart. It also clips the wings of the planning ministry by placing the authority under the direct supervision of the prime minister. The PM’s powers, however, will be limited as well.

“The authority shall be under an obligation to comply with the directives and policy guidelines issued by the prime minister, to the extent that these are not inconsistent with the provisions of this act,” according to another proposal that limits the role of the premier in the authority’s affairs.

According to the Express Tribune, the authority will be independent in the planning and execution of the CPEC projects. Moreover, the bill reportedly calls for an appointment of the chief of staff to help Gen Bajwa in running the affairs of the authority.

In an unprecedented move, the chairman of the CPEC Authority will also have the power to penalise the public office holders in case of non-cooperation.

In case a public office holder does not cooperate with the CPEC Authority, the chairman will have the power to order an investigation against the public office holder, according to the draft bill.

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A new post of chief of staff is being proposed in the bill and the position of CEO is proposed to be abolished. Currently, the CEO is a Grade-20 officer from the bureaucracy. The two positions of executive directors are proposed to be abolished.

 

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Naya Daur