$1.5bn pact for Azad Pattan’s hydel power project signed

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will prove to be a milestone in the country’s development and prosperity.
The Prime Minister said this while addressing the signing ceremony of an agreement for construction of Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project here on Monday.
As part of the CPEC, Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project envisages an investment of $1.5 billion. It will produce 700.7 megawatts of electricity without involving fuel import, enabling the country to move towards cheaper and greener power while generating local job opportunities. He project is signed with China Gezhouba. The project is located at River Jhelum and is expected to be completed in 2026.
The Prime Minister said that China is emerging as an economic power on the world’s map and Pakistan can learn a lot from its development. He said that CPEC is the future of Pakistan.
Earlier, Chairman CPEC Authority Asim Saleem Bajwa said in a tweet that Pakistan and China will sign an agreement on Monday for construction of Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project.
In a tweet, Asim Saleem Bajwa said that this project, another milestone under the CPEC, envisages an investment of $1.5 billion. He added, “We move towards cheaper and greener power.”
Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday commended the pace of work on hydropower projects being completed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In a Facebook post, the Prime Minister said that 36 Megawatt Daral Khwar hydropower project located on main Madain-Kalam Road in Swat was started by PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said the project has exceeded its annual generation target until last month.
Similarly, work on 40MW KOTO Hydropower Project under construction by Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization is being completed by next year.
The Prime Minister in his Facebook post also mentioned the under construction 1124MW Kohala Dam which is expected to be completed by 2025-26 and 800MW Mohmand Dam Project being completed by 2024-25. Both projects will also help increase water storage capacity of the country, said the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasised that Pakistan has abundant talent to take the country to self-reliance in new technological innovation and PTI-government will strongly support any initiative to harness the potential of the youth.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the production facility of first ever indigenously developed ventilators at National Radio and Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) at Haripur on Monday.
The Prime Minister stated, “Our approach in response to coronavirus pandemic and adopting smart lockdown while keeping the economy afloat has been widely acknowledged. Our focus will now remain on comprehensive health reforms.”
Imran Khan commended the initiative taken by NRTC and the Ministry of Science and Technology for the first ever indigenously produced ventilator. He said that it is a landmark achievement for Pakistan and congratulated the entire team.
Managing Director NRTC Brig Tofique Ahmed gave a detailed briefing to the Prime Minister about the history, sectors of research and development, products and services of NRTC.
The MD briefed that NRTC is indigenously providing services including communication equipment, e-policing, electro-medical equipment, hardware and software.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that provision of wheat at affordable prices as well as unhindered availability of the commodity is top priority of the government and directed authorities concerned to ensure its obstacle free inter-province movement.
The Prime Minister said this while chairing a meeting here on Monday, which was held to review steps taken to reduce prices of edible items in the country.
The Prime Minister instructed all the provincial chief secretaries under the chairmanship of Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam to evolve a coordinated strategy to ensure sufficient stock of wheat in every province as per its needs along with uniform prices of wheat and flour in all the federating units.
He directed that farmer and common citizen should be the axis of this strategy as elements involved in profiteering and hoarding in the past had deprived the farmer of his due profit, while the common citizen was compelled to buy flour at higher rates.
The Prime Minister directed to adopt a zero tolerance policy against adulteration. He also directed to take effective action against hoarders of sugar in light of the Joint Investigation Team’s report.
Briefing the meeting, the chief secretary Punjab informed that 716 tons of flour and 160,008.5 tons of sugar worth over one billion rupees have been confiscated from big hoarders of sugar and dealers.
It was told that prices of sugar is less in Punjab as a result of effective measures taken by the administration in the province.
The chief secretary apprised the participants that the Punjab government is going to release wheat worth Rs35 billion, which will help end flour shortage as well slashing prices of the wheat and flour in a gradual manner.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called upon World Health Organization (WHO) to play its role in engaging member states to remove COVID-19 related travel restrictions for Pakistan and other developing countries.
Talking to Director General WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom via video conference on Monday, the Prime Minister also stressed the need to work towards a data-driven system of non-discriminatory travel rules.
The Prime Minister observed that travel restrictions imposed by developed countries in the wake of COVID-19 can further exacerbate economic difficulties of developing countries struggling to mitigate adverse economic impact of the pandemic.
He highlighted the Pakistan’s strategy of deploying scientific and data driven interventions as well as rapid upgrades of health care facilities while attempting to a maintain a balance between life and livelihood that has yielded positive results with a current downward trajectory in the spread of pandemic.
While noting progress made by Pakistan in containing the spread of virus, the WHO appreciated the steps taken by the government of Pakistan in fighting the pandemic.
The Prime Minister appreciated the support extended by WHO to the international community including Pakistan to fight COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday formed a 13-member national coordination committee to facilitate the construction sector and low-cost housing projects.
The convener of the committee would be chairman Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority while officials from housing, planning division, energy, petroleum, and law departments of the federal government would also be a part of it.
Deputy Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and chief secretaries of all provinces will also be a part of the committee. A BPS-21 officer of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and a deputy chairman of the Naya Pakistan housing project will also assist the committee.
The 13-member body will meet twice in a week and review supplies to the housing sector and progress on the projects. It will identify the obstacles faced by the housing sector and would suggest ways to address it.
The body will also address issues faced by the housing sector in acquiring NOCs from concerned departments and issue directives to the departments.
It will facilitate the process to acquire permissions from concerned forums and will play the role of a focal point between the federal ministries and provinces.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will also be submitted a progress report twice a week.
It is pertinent to mention here that the federal cabinet on April 17 approved an ordinance giving legal effect to the incentive package for the construction industry.
The package was announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this month to increase employment opportunities in the country in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
As per the ordinance, a fixed tax regime is being introduced for builders and developers. There will be no withholding tax on the constructional material except cement and steel.
Under the ordinance, the tax has been reduced by 90 percent for low-cost houses to be constructed under Naya Pakistan Housing Authority.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan constituted the Cabinet Committee on Institutional Reform (CCIR) with immediate effect on Monday.
The composition of the CCIR included Shafqat Mahmood, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, as its chairman, while Ministers for defence, national food security and research & special assistant to the prime minister on establishment, adviser to the prime minister on institutional reforms & austerity and special assistant to the prime minister on petroleum as its members of this newly constituted CCIR.
Secretaries of establishment, finance and law & justice divisions and special secretary Cabinet Division may also be invited by special invitation as per notification issued by Cabinet Division. – TLTP

Leave a Reply