Special committee brainstorms on CPEC projects, discusses bill to establish CPEC authority

Web Desk 07:44 PM | 25 Sep, 2019
Special committee brainstorms on CPEC projects, discusses bill to establish CPEC authority
ISLAMABAD - The Senate Special Committee on the Project of China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) discussed in detail SMEs and SEZs, uninterrupted power supply along CPEC routes, delaying of tariff determination by NEPRA for Coal based energy project in Gwadar and the Second Phase of Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

In addition to all of the above, the Committee also discussed the Bill to set-up a Monitoring Authority for CPEC Projects.  The Committee agreed unanimously not to support any such document without it being presented to the Parliament for approval.

Chairing the meeting, Senator Sherry Rehman demanded that TORs of the CPEC authority be shared in the Committee. She said, “The Senate will oppose formation of CPEC authority through Presidential ordinance, it can only be formed by an act of the parliament and with the consensus of the provinces.”

Senator Sherry Rehman repeatedly stressed that the Authority proposed was to enhance provincial coordination, not to centralize a faltering planning process. “It should have provincial representation to be meaningful and seek approval of Parliament, not land in the Houses as an ordinance”, she said.

The Committee showed concern regarding delay in projects, the proposed ‘Authority’, as portrayed by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms is being set to ensure timely completion of CPEC projects.

The meeting was convened by Sherry Rehman and was attended by Senator Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Senator Syed Muhammad Ali Shah Jamote, Senator Sikander Mandhro, Senator Dr. Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi, Senator Dr. Asad Ashraf, Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Muhammad Azam Khan Swati, Senator Samina Saeed, Senator Sitara Ayaz, Senator Mir Kabeer Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi and senior officers of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, Board of Investment, Power Division, Ministry of Industries and Production along with all concerned.

While discussing the issue of Special Economic Zones the Committee was informed that certain amendments were being made in the law pertaining to SEZs.  This would help reduce current account deficit which has increased considerably in the last few years and will be beneficial to both Pakistan and China.  Amendment in laws would encourage exports.

The Committee took serious notice of Bostan Industrial Zone, Balochistan not being included in the list of prioritized SEZs. These were Rashakai SEZ Nowshera, Allama Iqbal Industrial City and China Special Economic Zone, Dhabejji, Thatta.  The Committee was assured that the Federal Government will look after the budget through PSDP.

The Committee stressed that incentives must not be revoked as this would be a gross violation of rights.  While discussing delay of tariff determination by NEPRA for local based Energy Project (300 MW) in Gwadar, the Committee was informed that the Company required increase in tariff rates, NEPRA increased rates to PKR 7.5 per unit , however, this was not acceptable to the Company thus, the matter has been submitted to a tribunal. The Committee recommended that the Tribunal must be set-up immediately.  The Committee raised the issue of borrowing electricity from Iran.  The Committee was informed that 100 MW electricity was being borrowed which was reduced to 40 MW during summer.

While discussing the second stage of Free Trade Agreement, the Committee recommended that a mechanism be formulated to ensure that Pakistani Industries can compete.  The Committee was informed that as a result of the 2nd Phase Agreement Pakistan would regain eroded margin of preference, asymmetrical liberalization favouring Pakistan: 90 percent for China and 67 percent for Pakistan.

At the end, the Committee also adopted a resolution proposed by Senator Muhammad Javed Abbasi. It demands from the Government of Pakistan to take immediate steps for the construction of an interchange on the Multan-Sukkur Motorway at Village Bhong, Tehsil Sadiqabad and District Rahim Yar Khan.

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KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 4, 2023 (Saturday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 279.9 283.2
Euro EUR 300.98 301.58
UK Pound Sterling GBP 337.01 337.71
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.14 75.44
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.55 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 189 192
Bahrain Dinar BHD 712.72 720.69
Canadian Dollar CAD 200 202.2
China Yuan CNY 39.67 39.73
Danish Krone DKK 39.33 39.73
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 34.19 34.54
Indian Rupee INR 3.28 3.39
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 878 887
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.83 63.43
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.25 175.25
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.79 27.09
Omani Riyal OMR 696.08 704.08
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 73.62 74.32
Singapore Dollar SGD 204 206
Swedish Korona SEK 25.61 25.91
Swiss Franc CHF 291.69 294.19
Thai Bhat THB 8.15 8.30

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 205,200 on Saturday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs175,930.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs167,318 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 195,157.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Karachi PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Islamabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Peshawar PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Quetta PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sialkot PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Attock PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujranwala PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Jehlum PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Multan PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Bahawalpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Gujrat PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nawabshah PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Chakwal PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Hyderabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Nowshehra PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Sargodha PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Faisalabad PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430
Mirpur PKR 205,200 PKR 2,430


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