President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi, finally has promulgated an ordinance for the establishment of the 'China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPECA)', Radio Pakistan reported on 8 October 2019 (Tuesday). It was a long-awaited decision as a few years back, it was realized to establish such a high-level authority, with the highest autonomy and powers, is required to get expected results out of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Pakistan is passing through its worst economic crisis as the foreign debt has crossed 100 billion US dollars. A cut in foreign remittance and reduced export has been witnessed during the last couple of years, which has aggregated the crisis further. Pakistan has to approach the IMF for the bailout package and signed a 39 months program. Under this scenario, CPEC is considered as vital as oxygen for Pakistan’s ailing economy.
As per the report, CPEC Authority is aimed at "accelerating the pace of CPEC-related activities, find new drives of growth, unlock the potential of the interlinked production network and global value chains through regional and global connectivity". It will cut off some of the bureaucratic hurdles and facilitate coordination among various ministries and departments, paving ways for smooth execution of CPEC projects.
As a matter of fact, Pakistan has never come across such mega initiative and has no such previous experience. Lack of experience and capacity, poor planning, and shortage of requisite human resources, Pakistan could not tape the full potential of CPEC. Although, to date, the progress of CPEC projects was satisfactory, and has completed or nearly completed most of the early harvest projects. The fruits of completed projects are being felt in the society, as load shedding has been vanished or reduced to almost zero. The network of motorways, high ways are playing a very important role in the transportation industry, and ultimately contributing toward the socio-economic development of the nation. A couple of years back, an increase in GDP from 4.5 to 5.7 was witnessed due to CPEC initiatives.
In August, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the government was forming CPECA to ensure the timely completion of the corridor's projects. He had said that CPECA would help ensure coordination among the departments concerned.
"The completion of CPEC will not only benefit Pakistan and China but also the entire region," the premier had said, adding that the timely completion of CPEC projects was the top-most priority of the government and CPEC is a clear example of joint efforts and partnership between Pakistan and China. There are complete consensus and harmony between the two Iron Brothers.
The president's promulgation of the ordinance for establishing CPECA coincides with Prime Minister Imran's visit to Beijing, 7-9 October 2019, which will include talks on the progress of CPEC. The prime minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising important members of his cabinet. His visit was aimed to address the Pak-China business forum and CPEC was major agenda. It has further strengthened the ideal existing understanding between the two countries.
Pakistan’s minister of planning and reforms said: "There will be meaningful engagement on all aspects of Pakistan-China relations during the visit", expressing the hope that it would take CPEC cooperation to new heights so that benefits of Pakistan’s economic progress could reach the people at the earliest. Pakistan is ready for the second phase of CPEC, where the Social Sector, Agriculture and Special Economic Zones are focused on rapid development of the economy. It will provide quick relief to the common man in the society.
It is expected that the establishment of the CPEC Authority (CPECA) will facilitate Chinese and Pakistani sides to expedite the projects and smooth execution. It will be instrumental in widening and speeding up of projects under CPEC. It will be a catalyst for the revival of Pakistan’s economy and relief to the common man in Pakistan.
Pakistan is committed to making CPEC a success story and role model for the rest of the world to be followed. It is the flagship project and possesses a far-reaching impact. It is vital for Pakistan just like oxygen for survival and people of Pakistan will ensure work hard to change the fate of the nation.