President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday promulgated two ordinances to set up the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority and grant tax concessions to the Gwadar port and its free zone, sending a strong signal to Beijing that Islamabad is serious in implementing the multibillion dollar strategic initiative. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government decided to promulgate presidential ordinance to set up China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority for expediting the work on delayed CPEC projects.
According to the sources, the federal governmentthe has forwarded a draft to the President for approval and the decision has been taken in rush as no sessions of the National Assembly (NA) and Senate are being held. They said the ordinance would be applicable across Pakistan and the office of the authority will be established in Islamabad.
They said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will appoint the chairperson, executive directors and members of the authority for a period of four years. The chief executive of the authority will be a government officer of grade-20. The sources said that the authority will determine ways to enhance cooperation between Pakistan and China in diverse sectors.
They said that authority will play an active role for effective communication between the Joint Cooperation Committee and the Joint Working Group, and enhance coordination between provinces and ministries. The sources said that any decision regarding the projects will be taken by approval of majority of the members and none of the beneficiaries of the CPEC projects will be a member of the authority.
Importantly, the CPEC Authority will operate in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Pakistan and China, they said. The authority will be compelled to submit a financial report of the projects to the prime minister on annual basis, and will be liable to seek any details of the projects.
Moreover, the sources said that the government will allocate budget for the CPEC and it will be empowered to appoint employees and officers working for the projects.
According to rules, it will establish a business council that will guide the authority in achieving its set goals. They said that the authority, with the approval of the prime minister, will be authorised to formulate new rules and regulations, and will work closely with the Ministry of Planning.